Uber has filed to go public in what could be the biggest IPO in years

uber ceo dara khosrowshahiUber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks onstage at Day 1 of the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit 2018 at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 9, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

  • Uber filed documents for its long-awaited initial public offering, or IPO, on Thursday.
  • The ride-hailing company could net a valuation of more than $100 billion as it hits the stock market.
  • Lyft, the company's biggest competitor, went public in March, and its stock has dropped more than 20% in since.

Uber has officially filed for an initial public offering, according to regulatory documents filed on Thursday.

The company's long-awaited prospectus, which was filed confidentially in December, was made public for the first time on Thursday, providing the first public look into Uber's investor pitch and plans to future growth in ride-hailing, food delivery, self-driving cars, flying taxis, and more.

Uber will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol UBER, according to its prospectus. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Allen & Company, among others are underwriting the offering.

Uber did not disclose in the filing the price at which it plans to list, though the company's public valuation could easily top that of earlier venture capital rounds, especially given that Lyft's offering last week was over-subscribed.

Before the stock prices or begins trading, Uber's executives and bankers will head out on an investor roadshow to drum up demand across the country. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the roadshow is likely to kick off this month, with shares hitting markets in May.

Read more: Inside the Lyft roadshow in NYC where investors packed the penthouse of a $1,000-a-night hotel

One of the biggest IPO's in years

As a private company, Uber has raised nearly $20 billion in venture capital across more than a dozen funding rounds that have left the company valued at a reported $120 billion. If the valuation holds, Uber would find itself ranked somewhere between railroad operator Union Pacific and fellow tech giant Salesforce in terms of the world's most valuable public companies.

That massive amount of capital raise over the past decade has helped Uber to cover most of the world's cities in more than 60 countries, compared to Lyft's much narrower focus on the US and Canada.

Read more: Uber and Lyft are both going public - here's how their balance sheets compare

Those funding rounds have also helped subsidize a massively unprofitable ride-hailing business while also investing in other ventures in notoriously expensive self-driving car research. Unlike Lyft, Uber has been self-reporting some quarterly financial information, so the numbers disclosed aren't completely new, but they are our first look at audited financial statements.

Uber for Everything

While Uber is best known for hailing a car ride with the tap of a button, the company has plenty of other bets. In Pittsburgh (as well as Toronto and its San Francisco headquarters), for example, the company's advanced technologies group (ATG) is developing self-driving car tech to power an eventual autonomous taxi fleet.

Read more: Uber insiders describe infighting and questionable decisions before its self-driving car killed a pedestrian

Uber Eats, meanwhile, is one of the fastest growing segments of Uber's business. In many areas, the food delivery startup is growing even faster than Uber's rode-hailing business. Executives have told Business Insider that Eats is the first of many soon-to-come examples of other services piggybacking on the Uber platform.

Groceries could soon be the next entrant to that delivery offering, and the company is rapidly scaling up a team to deliver pantry items in its Toronto office, Business Insider reported last year.

Read more: An Uber Eats executive reveals the company's surprising strategy for moving beyond taxi rides

In 2018, Uber purchased a bike-share company called Jump bikes. Like Lyft's purchase of the bikeshare operator Motivate, Jump is Uber's pawn in the bike-and-scooter wars that have overtaken many of the world's cities in recent years. Rachel Holt, Uber's head of new mobility, said at Business Insider's IGNITION conference in 2018 that users could expect to see a "pretty massive" expansion of the bikes and scooters into more cities this year.

Lyft's stutter

Lyft, Uber's biggest competitor, went public first in March. However, the stock's more than 20% decline over its first two trading weeks is expected to cast a shadow on Uber's offering.

"Lyft shares continue to be weak as many investors we have spoken with have worries about Uber's impending S-1 and roadshow which could be a dark shadow over Lyft's stock in the near-term," Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said in a note to clients Thursday.

"With Uber, investors will soon have a second option to make a bet on the future of mobility and transportation with the clear market share leader," Ives continued.

This story is developing...

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