Just days after reports emerged that Lyft is preparing its initial public offering for March or April, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the ride-sharing app is still on course to go public in the latter half of 2019.
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“There’s no guarantee. You don’t know what the market is doing,” Khosrowshahi said Wednesday during an interview with FOX Business’ Susan Li. “I can guarantee you that we’ll be ready, and hopefully the markets will be ready for us.”
The fact that Lyft has already started the IPO process -- purportedly in an effort to beat Uber to the public markets -- did not concern Khosrowshahi, who said there are “plenty of companies” and investors who will line up behind both Uber and Lyft.
In late August, Uber hired a new chief financial officer, Nelson Chai, to help assist with going public. Chai is set to start next week, but raised eyebrows when he said in an interview with Axios that Uber may not be ready to go public next year, suggesting there could be additional delays.
Khosrowshahi downplayed the remarks, and said that as soon as Chai (who he described as “rigorous” and “independent-minded”) sees the work underway at Uber, he’d agree the company is ready for a 2019 IPO.
“The company’s incredibly important to the world, and we have some incredibly talented technologists out there,” he said. “So I think we’re going to be ready, but I absolutely want that stamp of approval from our CFO.”
Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted in June 2017 after a number of scandals and reports of a “boy’s club” culture at the company, including allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Uber is currently the most valuable startup in the world, with a reported valuation of $72 billion. Investors have been eagerly awaiting the IPO for years.