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Shares in the ride-hailing app Lyft have made a strong debut on their first day of trade on the Nasdaq. 32.5 million shares were priced at $72 per share- the top end of its target range – valuing the company at $24.3 billion.

The success of the float comes despite the company never posting a profit. Alejandro Ortiz Research Analyst at SharePost says:Without question, investors are looking beyond operating losses to the potential upside in ride-sharing. Global gross ride-sharing bookings are projected to grow to $400 billion by 2021. The elevated pricing also points to the advantage of being a first mover ahead of Uber.”

Ortiz says that Lyft still has plenty of room to grow – despite its services only being available in North America.

“Lyft has strategically expanded into bike and scooter-sharing, two markets estimated to be growing at a faster rate than ridesharing. Lyft has made tactical moves that will give it a strong strategic advantage as these mobility industries continue to grow. Most notably, the company acquired Motivate, the largest bike sharing platform in the United States. Motivate operates bike-sharing systems across the country, including Ford’s GoBike in San Francisco, Citi Bike in New York, and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C.”

He adds: “Lyft has heavily invested in self driving vehicles. Specifically, the company is developing its own technology platform which allows partners to offer autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network. Aptiv, one of Lyft’s major partners, is testing vehicles in Las Vegas and completed 35,000 autonomous rides on the Lyft platform last year.”

Lyft was launched in 2012 and is led by co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer.

Up next is Uber’s IPO. Its planned float – expected in April – received a boost this week after it announced the acquisition of Middle Eastern rival Careem Networks.

According to Ortiz: “With substantial losses, Uber will likely rely heavily upon growth and scope figures to entice investors in its public offering. One potential concern with the upcoming acquisition is all the issues that Uber has experienced in foreign markets that have let to various exits. From regulatory to operational headaches, Uber will need to ensure the incremental growth potential outweighs the new risk exposure.”

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