U.S. Ride Share Drivers Will Strike On May 8th Ahead of Uber IPO

U.S. Ride Share Drivers Will Strike On May 8th Ahead of Uber IPO

Uber and Lyft drivers in major U.S. cities have united to strike during peak hours on Wednesday May 8th for two hours from 7AM to 9AM local time, according to a report from Autoblog. Cities which may see rush hour even more rush-y include New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles, among others. The strike is a protest of business and payment practices ahead of Uber’s planned IPO on May 9th with trading on the stock exchange to begin the following day.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance website features a post about the strike which lays out the plans of the strikers. The protest is an effort to influence Uber and Lyft to provide a more secure work environment and ensure that drivers can actually make a living on the income paid. Uber has already acknowledged that shifting drivers from independent contractors to full employees would be bad for its business model.

Even presidential candidates are weighing in on the strike.

Following the strike, drivers plan to rally at Uber and Lyft respective headquarters from 1PM the same day.

From the NYTWA post:

“With the IPO, Uber’s corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and to go bankrupt.”

So, don’t cross the picket line. Don’t use a ride share app on Wednesday the 8th. Find another way to get around. Every human deserves a living wage.

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Drivers for Uber, Lyft, Juno Strike Around the World

Drivers for Uber, Lyft, Juno Strike Around the World

All over the world, drivers for Uber, Lyft, and Juno—some of the biggest rideshare companies—are going on strike today. That means that for today, at least, you should not use those services.

Why are they going on strike? The LA-based Rideshare United, which has taken a lead role in the strike, is calling for fair pay, just cause provisions, union recognition, and environmentally friendly reforms such as a vehicle cap and new emission standards.

“We ask that the public support drivers in their struggle for fair wages and our Drivers bill of rights,” RDU spokesperson Brian Dolber told NPR. “We are calling for community standards that will ensure that Uber and Lyft do not create needless traffic and pollution. By boycotting Uber/Lyft for 24 hours, passengers can show that they stand with RDU in our fight for a rideshare industry that truly serves Angelenos.”

“We have no sick leave, and are forced to drive long hours to make ends meet,” Melbourne-based Uber driver Robin Thomas told the New York Times. Uber, for one, can afford all of that—fair wages, sick leave, and more. It’s about to hit the New York Stock Exchange at an IPO of up to $91 billion. Lyft, meanwhile, hit the Nasdaq earlier this year with an IPO of nearly $25 billion.

Virginia state Rep. Lee Carter, an outspoken socialist, tweeted earlier this week that he drives for Lyft on the side and said he’s joining the strikes in solidarity.

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New York’s Rideshare Organizers Clash Amid Unprecedented Uber Strike

New York’s Rideshare Organizers Clash Amid Unprecedented Uber Strike

Long Island City—Just days before Uber’s expected debut on the stock market at a conservative but still-astronomical $80 to $90 billion valuation, the anger among rideshare drivers boiled over into an international day of action.

In at least 20 cities around the world, Uber drivers with few employment protections and no real way to contact one another came together on Wednesday to demand fairer conditions. That action on this scale could be coordinated at all is, on its own, an astounding achievement. A grand expression of frustration can be cathartic in its own way, but at times the balkanized pockets of organizers appeared to be rowing in opposite directions—nowhere more starkly than in the company’s largest market: New York City.

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Ask rideshare drivers anywhere, and they’ll likely name the same problems: low pay made lower through vehicle expenses and upkeep, deactivations without recourse, and a higher and higher share of their rides being gobbled up as commission fees. But ask about the best strategy to improve their working conditions, and the answers will probably be less consistent.

In three cities in Australia, a handful of drivers delivered a letter expressing “concern about the lack of rights and standards that apply to transport workers in the gig economy” to Uber Greenlight hubs. In Los Angeles, one of the best organized and most militant groups, Rideshare Drivers United, called a 24-hour strike for its estimated 4,200 members. Philadelphia Drivers United responsibly split the difference, opting to hold a rally but not call a strike, as many of its constituent members were “one missed day of work away from vehicle repossession or missed medications.” Unfocused, maybe, but not openly hostile towards one another.

New York, however, had the dubious honor of being the only city to host competing rallies between labor groups—the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) and the New York Taxi Drivers Alliance (NYTWA)—which took turns to protest in front of an Uber hub in Long Island City, Queens, rather than join together.

“As New York drivers we’re standing in solidarity with drivers all across the country,” Aaron Smith, the IDG’s director of organizing, told me—apparently referring to every local grassroots group except the NYTWA.

Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of NYTWA, believed the majority of her organization’s 10,000 members shut off their apps during their declared strike hours from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. today, and took credit for an alleged 2.2x driver surge meant to encourage to get drivers out on the road. Citing just a 500-car dip from last week’s numbers, Uber denied the strike’s efficacy, and in fact refused to attribute the change to labor activity. Whether the strike had a meaningful impact on Uber’s business this morning or not, at least three hashtags associated with the strike on Twitter were trending across the city. Little to none of that visibility can be chalked up to the IDG, which did not strike today.

“We’ll continue to make sure that driving is a career and it’s a path to the middle class and not a path to the poverty wages that these companies want you to live in,” Brendan Sexton, the IDG’s executive director, addressed a crowd of approximately 150 drivers clad in complementary union t-shirts. The IDG, formed almost three years ago to the day, are a divisive organization to say the least. Formed through an arrangement between the International Association of Machinists, drivers, and Uber itself, the IDG are the only union recognized by the ridesharing platform. But their recognition hinged on signing an agreement with a no-strike clause and refusal to criticize systemic problems on the app. It’s branded them among skeptics—like the NYTWA—as Uber lackeys.

“They are paid by Uber,” Desai told me, when asked why the rallies were not coordinated. “They are a sham company union which goes against every single principle that people like us believe in, because we’re supposed to be working for the interests of the workers. We’re not supposed to be taking money from the bosses.” “We’re built by drivers and we work for drivers,” Sexton shot back. “That other group they represent, I think, medallion owners, or yellow cabs or something,” he bristled, adding incorrectly that the NYTWA “don’t really do app-based drivers yet.” The NYTWA did indeed get its start representing cabbies; no rideshare companies existed when it was founded, in 1998.

Sexton did confirm however, that the IDG does still receive money from Uber. “Like every other union contract there are contributions from the employer. Most of our funding—over 75 percent—comes from grants, member contributions, donations, and contributions from the Machinists Union.” During Desai’s address to the media at 1 p.m. today, members of Sexton’s guild hung back with banners and whistles, sporadically interrupting speeches.

Of course, the stories from drivers in either organization are nearly identical. “After a while, learning the kind of expenses I accumulate I was like ‘Oh, I’m making almost nothing,’” IDG member Jacky Lin told me. “Gas I’ll spend like $1,000. Insurance I’ll spend like $300. Car payments, another couple hundred.” He estimates that, with those various deductions, he takes home a little over $1,000 per month. “Lucky for me I was living at home,” Lin said, “but if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I’d be able to survive.”

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Holding two printed-out sheets before a gaggle of reporters at an earlier event in front of the iconic Charging Bull statue, Inder Parmar, a NYTWA member, claimed his earnings had shrunk from $37 an hour when he began driving for Uber to just over $9 an hour now. In reference to the rash of suicides that took the lives of seven for-hire drivers, he said, “if my kids and my family didn’t support me, I would be one of the dead drivers.”

The divide between the two labor groups is largely idealogical: a hardline approach versus one that’s open to meeting the boss halfway. When I asked Lin why he’d opted to join a group that wasn’t willing (or able) to strike, a nearby staffer interrupted, noting that “obviously, if you’re at a rally, you’re not working. So if you want to call it a strike, it really doesn’t make any kind of difference.” And yet what led the spark of protest to travel from Los Angeles to multiple continents arguably wasn’t “not working,” it was the threat of a strike, and all the weight that suggests.

“We know we got to them. That’s the triumph,” Desai told reporters gathered in Queens. “We got into their heads. We messed with them. We punched back, and we showed them that we’re not afraid.”

Both groups were adamant that today’s action was just the beginning, which even Uber itself seems keenly aware of. “As we aim to reduce Driver incentives to improve our financial performance, we expect Driver dissatisfaction will generally increase,” the company wrote in its S-1 filing, setting the stage for increasingly widespread outrage. But it’s also the beginning of some very difficult coalition-building for these various national and international groups to agree on and pursue unified demands—or risk losing their own momentum to conflict and confusion.

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Pinterest prices IPO at $10 per share, for a $12.7 billion valuation

Pinterest prices IPO at $10 per share, for a $12.7 billion valuation

Pinterest priced its shares at $19 each for its initial public offering, in a sign of healthy demand by investors after the appetite for fast-growing but money-losing tech companies appeared to be on the wane.

The price valued the San Francisco digital pin board company, which lets people save images and links from around the web, at $12.7 billion. That is a little above its last private fundraising round, which had pegged the company at $12 billion.

By selling at $19 per share, Pinterest raised $1.6 billion from big investors in the offering. The shares will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PINS.

Pinterest’s pricing could bode well for the many unicorns — startups worth more than $1 billion — that are rushing to the public markets. It follows a rocky debut for ride-hailing company Lyft, which went public March 28.

After a euphoric spike on its first day of trading, Lyft’s shares promptly sank below their IPO price. The company is still worth more than it was in the private market, but investors who bought into the IPO are under water and may not want to take on more risk in startups like Pinterest.

“Coming out of Lyft, there was a lot of drama and concern around the appetite investors had for these money-losing businesses,” said Vincent Ning, director of research at Titan Invest, an investment manager.

He said Lyft might have been too aggressive on its pricing, which led Pinterest to take a more conservative tack. Ning predicted that that strategy would result in a rise in Pinterest shares after the IPO.

Uber, the giant ride-hailing firm and the most prominent player to emerge from this wave of startups, will soon start meeting with investors to sell its shares. Slack, a workplace collaboration company, and Postmates, a food delivery company, are also…

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Lyft falls to fresh low, extending its post-IPO plunge to 35% (LYFT)

Lyft falls to fresh low, extending its post-IPO plunge to 35% (LYFT)

  • Shares were trading at just over $57 apiece — 35% below where they made their debut on the Nasdaq.
  • Watch Lyft trade live.

Lyft shares fell more than 5% Monday, hitting a fresh low as the ride-hailing company’s post-initial-public-offering rout raged on.

Wall Street analysts continue to fret over the company’s steep losses and the competitive threat that Uber poses.

Here are a few statistics to place Lyft’s post-IPO drop in context:

  • At Monday’s low, Lyft fell to $56.57 a share — 35% below its opening price of $87.24.
  • Lyft has now fallen 27% since the close of its first day of trading —$77.75 a share.
  • Lyft initially priced its initial public offering at $72 a share; the stock is trading about 21% below that level.

Lyft shares took a hit last week after Uber, its much-larger rival, officially filed to go public. Uber is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in early May. Lyft is listed on the Nasdaq.

“Valuing ride-hailing companies is complicated, and the way competition will evolve remains unclear,” HSBC analysts wrote in a sweeping report on the ride-hailing space last week.

The firm initiated coverage of Lyft with a “neutral” rating and $60 price target, and listed “intensified competition with Uber in the US” as a key downside risk. 

“Lyft was very aggressive on subsidies in 1Q19, and we see the risk of Uber responding,” the analysts wrote. “However, with both companies set to be public soon, perhaps both will refocus on profitability and gradually rationalize subsidies – the most sensible outcome, in our view.”

In non-market Lyft developments, the company had to pull thousands of e-bikes off the streets of New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco after some riders experienced “stronger than expected braking.”

Now read more Lyft coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

NOW WATCH: The founder and CIO of $12 billion Ariel Investments breaks down how his top-ranked flagship fund has crushed its peers over the past 10 years

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Pinterest sets conservative pricing after Lyft drop – Long Island Business News

Pinterest sets conservative pricing after Lyft drop – Long Island Business News

Pinterest, among the gaggle of tech companies hoping to go public this year, set a conservative price range Monday for its initial public offering. It hopes to raise as much as $1.5 billion in its initial offering of shares. The digital scrapbooking site said in a regulatory filing that it will put about 75 million shares up for sale at a price between $15 and $17 each. That, at the higher end, could put the value of the company at around $9 billion. But it falls below the estimated $12 billion value from earlier sales of shares to private investors, according to reports two years ago. Companies set their price range for an initial public offering with a tricky calculus set by investment banks and underwriters. They don’t want to set the bar too low, but going too high can lead to a sell-off. And those tech companies still planning to go public this year may be treading more carefully following the debut of Lyft 11 days ago. After a much ballyhooed debut, the stock slumped for two days. While its shares bounced back from their lows last week, they remain far below the heights reached in the flurry of first-day trading, and they fell 3% Monday, again dipping under the initial offering price. The Lyft drop was a “major gut check time for Lyft and the tech IPO world to see how this stock trades given it was the first one out of the box,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives after Lyft shares tumbled. Other tech companies pushing to go public this year include Uber, Lyft’s rival, the messaging app Slack and the video conferencing company Zoom are expected to make their debut soon. Pinterest claims more than 250 million active monthly users and more than 2 billion monthly searches. The platform allows people to search for and “pin” images that interest them, whether it’s fashion, sports, pets or travel. Pinterest has long shunned the label of being a social network. It doesn’t push users to add friends or build connections. That means it’s avoided the privacy tangles that have ensnared companies like Facebook. Pinterest makes advertising revenue when businesses promote pins in users’ feeds. The San Francisco company had revenue of $756 million last year, a 60% bump from 2017. It had a loss of $63 million in 2018, compared with a loss of $130 million in 2017. Pinterest was founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp, who are the company’s CEO and chief product officer, respectively. The company has been working on developing its artificial intelligence search, which allows people to take a photo or upload a screenshot of an item and find similar products on Pinterest. Pinterest’s stock will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the “PINS” ticker symbol. IPO Pinterest social media 12:20 pm Mon, April 8, 2019

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Lyft raises IPO price target as investor fret over missing out | Reuters

(Reuters) – Lyft Inc on Wednesday raised the price range for its initial public offering, as investors looked past the ride-hailing startup’s mounting losses to the company’s growing market share against larger rival Uber Technologies Inc.

Lyft raised its IPO price range to between $70 and $72 per share, meaning the ride-hailing company is now targeting a valuation of up to $24.3 billion. The increased range, from $62-$68 previously, is the result of investors worrying about missing out on the biggest U.S. IPO since Snap Inc in 2017.

Lyft’s IPO was oversubscribed just two days into its investor roadshow, Reuters reported last week.

At the upper end of the new range, Lyft would have a market capitalization of $20.45 billion, a little larger than Snap Inc when it went public in 2017. At this size, it would be the biggest U.S. IPO since Chinese e-commerce Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2014.

Counting for things like restricted stock options, Lyft’s valuation would be as high as $24.3 billion. Lyft was valued at $15 billion in final private fundraising round in 2018.

At the mid-point of its new target range, $71 per share, Lyft would raise roughly $2.1 billion.

The increased price range signals a healthy appetite for new stocks after jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co last week priced its targeted range and popped on its market debut.

It also indicates many investors are willing to overlook uncertainty over Lyft’s path to profitability and its strategy for autonomous driving, for fear of missing out on such a high-profile technology IPO.

The IPO market had a slow start in 2019 due to volatile markets at the end of last year and the government shutdown in January blocking U.S. regulators from processing new IPO applicants.

This all bodes well for the likes of Uber Technologies and Pinterest Inc, which are also planning to go public in 2019 but like Lyft have yet to turn a profit.

With start-ups like Lyft staying private for longer, there is a backlog of demand to allocate more money to stocks which are considered high-growth in order to diversify away from Wall Street’s FAANG trade which is made up of Facebook Inc , Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Netflix Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc .

Nevertheless, Lyft’s strategy and ability to make money has not been without skeptics.

Union pension fund adviser CtW Investment Group has argued Lyft “faces an all-but-insurmountable barrier” to profitability due to issues with the ride-hailing company’s pricing strategy and new regulations driving costs higher.

Lyft’s revenue was $2.16 billion for 2018, double the previous year’s and far higher than $343 million in 2016. It posted a loss of $911 million in 2018 versus $688 million in 2017.

Lyft’s IPO is set to price on Thursday with shares scheduled to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Friday.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Lisa Shumaker

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Lyft IPO: Profitability not coming soon

Lyft IPO: Profitability not coming soon

Lyft went public on Friday at a valuation above $20 billion, but last year it had a net loss of $911 million. During the roadshow leading up to its IPO, Lyft promised investors it would eventually make 20% EBITDA margins, but it was vague about the timeline and strategy for how it would get there.

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Lyft Opens Its Own Repair Shops | 2019-03-26 | Ratchet+Wrench

Lyft Opens Its Own Repair Shops | 2019-03-26 | Ratchet+Wrench

March 26, 2019—Lyft continues to look for new ways to lure drivers to its platform, reports CNN Business. The ride-sharing company said Tuesday it will open its own repair shops nationwide, offering deep discounts on things like flat tire fixes, brake work and oil changes, and provide free bank accounts in a bid to attract and retain drivers. Lyft announced the perks before its initial public offering, which is expected to come as early as Friday. The San Francisco-based tech company, which lost $911 million in 2018, . . .

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