>> Lyft on Thursday taking a crucial step in the race against Uber to go public, filing for an initial public offering. A plan that sources that tell Reuters could happen in early 2019. Reuters correspondent, Joshua Franklin is on the story.>> One of the reasons why investors are so excited about this is cuz it is a chance for them to buy into a new industry.
There's nothing out there if you want some exposure in the public markets to ride-hailing, and through this emerging thing you can't really have access to that. So Lyft, if they do it first, it's gonna be the first bite of the apple that a lot of these investors are gonna be able to have.
Lyft has just focused on the US and Canada, it hasn't diversified its business model in the same way as Uber has with Uber Eats and things like that. And Uber as well has had certain internal difficulties. Obviously a change in CEOs, certain cultural issues that they've needed to work through.
And that's really helped Lyft, allow them to steal a march on Uber in the race for the FEO.>> But Uber isn't far behind, it's also expected to pursue an IPO next year, one that could value the ride-hailing company at about $120 billion. Lyft is much smaller, it was last valued at about 15 billion.
It's IPO is widely seen as a test for investor appetite when it comes to high profile tech companies that despite being worth billions still make no money.>> Investors, they're just so keen for growth as much as they can at the moment. So they're pretty patient when it comes to companies helping fund companies through their growth stage.
Even it means that they're going to be burning through money and not making any profit.>> But investors will also want to know how Lyft plans to navigate the race toward autonomous cars. It's one of many companies buying Serola's automated ride-hailing services facing off against tech and auto giants, Alphabet, General Motors, and of course, Uber.