Uber’s dominant size may rob smaller Lyft of its IPO oxygen

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Uber Technologies Inc and smaller rival Lyft are driving side-by-side on the road to a stock market debut, and that may not bode well for Lyft as investors decide where to place their bets in the ride-hailing sector.

Uber and Lyft both submitted confidential IPO filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last Thursday, suggesting that their public offerings could take place in close proximity, unless one decides to take a pause.

Some IPO investors interviewed by Reuters said two IPOs in quick succession could force them to choose between Uber and the smaller and less diversified Lyft.

“The advantage of being first to market with your IPO is the ability to control your destiny without being impacted by how the competing IPO is performing in the public market,” said Jim Williams, chief investment officer of Creative Planning Inc, a wealth and investment manager in Overland Park, Kansas, which manages $35.7 billion and advises clients who already own shares in Lyft and Uber, or are considering buying them.

The first company to debut will get to define the sector in the eyes of stock market investors.

Uber will likely draw investor attention to its larger market share and wider business operations, such as freight hauling and food delivery, while Lyft will play up its smaller but highly focused ride-hailing business, said people close to both companies.