Public offering to raise $8bn to drive expansion and fund driverless cars and food delivery
Ride-hailing firm Uber has set itself a hefty market valuation ahead of its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
The firm is seeking a valuation of $82.4bn, less than the $100bn it had initially envisioned, asking investors to pay $45 per share, which was at the low end of the range it had set for its Wall Street debut on Friday.
It has been a busy time for the firm. In March this year Uber was ruled not criminally liable for the death of a woman, who was struck by one of its self-driving vehicles.
It should be remembered that one of Uber’s self-driving cars was involved in the fatal accident in March 2018 after it hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, while in the car was in autonomous mode.
But the firm is seeking to put all this behind it, with one of the most eagerly anticipated stock market listings in the tech world of recent times.
With a price of $45 per share (it had been seeking between $44 and $50), the San Francisco-based firm is seeking to raise as much as $8.1bn from 180 million shares, to drive expansion into new markets.
It also needs additional funding to continue the development of projects such as its driverless car and food-delivery divisions.
Uber has been cautious for its IPO, after the poor performance of rival Lyft, which lost 27 percent of the value of its shares since its IPO in March.
And it should be remembered that Uber has not been without causes for concern for investors.
It has famously never made a profit, and has even warned in its prospectus for the listing that it may never do so.
Indeed, Uber reportedly lost $1.8bn last year, but revenues rose more than 40 percent to $11.3bn. It also lost another $1bn in the first three months of 2019.
Uber has found itself of protests from many of its drivers, complaining at the poor pay levels, as its drivers are self-employed workers with few rights.
Uber was also fined last year for hiding a data breach.
The British and Dutch data protection regulators concluded their investigations and slapped the firm with fines totalling over a $1 million.
It came after Uber admitted last September that it also would pay $148m (£113m) in order to settle legal action over the cyber-attack in October 2016, which exposed data from 58 million customers and drivers.
Read More: What on Earth was Uber thinking?
Uber had kept the breach secret and only came clean about the incident in November 2017, after new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he only became aware of the breach recently. Khosrowshahi had only joined the company earlier in 2017 and said the company was working with the authorities.
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