Big Investors Unmoved by Lyft Stock's Dip

Photo Credit: Ringo H W Chiu/AP/Shutterstock
April 1, 2019

By Spencer Feingold

Lyft’s shares dropped more than 11 percent Monday morning, the ride-haling company's second day of trading on the Nasdaq, with the stock falling below its initial public offering price of $72.

But the stock's dive should not be a concern for large investors, said Rashaun Williams, general partner at Manhattan Venture Partners.

“This is still a home run for all of us,” Williams said in an interview Monday with Cheddar. “From an institutional, public-equity investor perspective this is a win.”

The company made its highly anticipated market debut last Friday, when its shares were priced at $87.24, nearly 20 percent more than the IPO price. Trading last week gave Lyft ($LYFT) a market cap as high as $29 billion.

Lyft, founded in 2012, became the first ride-hailing company to go public, beating its larger rival, Uber, which could also go public this month.

“Over the long haul, once people see the revenue and growth rates of these companies ー revenue doubling every year ー people are going to buy this,” Williams said. “The market is going to continue to increase.”

Lyft has has completed 1 billion rides and its nearly 2 million drivers chauffeur more than 30 million riders annually. The company doubled revenue in 2018 from the year before to $2.2 billion, according to the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. That's up considerably from 2016, when it booked $343.3 million.

However, the company reported a net loss last year of $911.3 million ー the biggest of any pre-IPO business.

“Our investors are absolutely excited to see a company that is doubling in revenue, and they understand that profitability is a public-market thing more so than a private-market thing, especially in the technology space,” Williams said.

He also said that Lyft is especially attractive to celebrity investors, who want ownership in culturally relevant brands. The comedian Kevin Hart, for example, is a Lyft investor and he has been the face of several promotional campaigns.

“In the past, they only would have got marketing deals, now all of these celebrities want ownership in the top brands,” Williams said.

For retail investors, Williams called Lyft’s market debut a “lukewarm victory,” and he said everyday investors who can’t get into IPOs should focus on long term investments and not worry about daily fluctuations.

For full interview click here.