Documents released Thursday offered the perspective of the world's biggest support a decade ago.
Outside the US-Canada combine, according to the miles of rides covered, Europe is the largest market (271 million) for Uber followed by Latin America (94 million), Japan/South Korea (79 million), and Middle East & Africa (74 million). That's a small amount to pay for Uber, which has reportedly made billions from exiting out of China, Russia and Southeast Asia alone.
The San Francisco company also disclosed a legal cloud hanging over its head as government authorities and regulators investigate whether the company broke any laws.
It also says that there are "a number of inquiries, investigations and requests for information" from agencies within the United States, such as the department of justice, as well as other countries.
Nonetheless, investors should note that in the early stages of development for a company such as Uber, the consistent maintenance of high business growth is more important than risk factors, which gradually become more important as the company matures.
Reaching profitability has proven to be a challenge for both Uber and Lyft. Motorists is a massive expense, and Uber competition with Lyft for customers has led the two companies to offer rides under cost. Investing in these companies as they make their stock market debuts can seem a way to easy riches.
"We believe that Drivers are independent contractors because, among other things, they can choose whether, when, and where to provide services on our platform, are free to provide services on our competitors' platforms, and provide a vehicle to perform services on our platform", the S-1 said. Uber said that in many areas, Uber Eats is growing even faster than its ride-hailing business. Included in the S-1 was Uber's net income for 2018, which increased to $997m, a major jump in income from its 2017 net loss of over $4m.
Uber was valued according to SharesPost analyst Alejandro Ortiz. "That's a sign that will be looked on favorably in the next few weeks". This comes as rival Lyft has struggled after going public earlier this month as investors question if it can actually make money. Lyft's stock now is hovering around $61, down from its IPO price of $72.
The rocky beginning might have prompted Uber to tamp down its IPO aspirations. That's below estimates of $120 billion.
Uber is the largest of the "unicorns" or venture backed firms worth at least $1 billion to list on Wall Street, and is one of the key companies in the "sharing economy" which is based on offering services to replace ownership of cars, homes and other commodities.
The investment bankers handling Uber's IPO are expected to show a pricing scope for Uber's shares later this month before going to a so-called road show created to drum up interest in the IPO among institutional investors that will receive the first opportunity to buy the inventory before it starts trading in the New York Stock Exchange next month.
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