Uber CEO says 2019 is the target for IPO

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was on stage at the New York Times’ Dealbook conference today, and the ride hailing company’s top executive put a timeline on Uber’s plans for going public. Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO after founder Travis Kalanick stepped down earlier this year, said early on that an IPO for Uber was part of his plans, and that it would happen in the next 18 to 36 months – but now we have a clearer target, with 2019 as the specific year per the chief executive.

Speaking at the event, Khosrowshahi noted that in remaining private, Uber “has all the disadvantage of being a public company, with the spotlight on us, with none of the advantages,” marking a clear divergence of thinking from the perspective of Kalanick, who famously wanted to keep Uber private as long as possible and saw no need to enter the public markets with any urgency.

Khosrowshahi also said that plans to go public won’t affect the SoftBank deal, which he confirmed is pending and expressed confidence will happen soon. SoftBank has no “particular interest in going public,” according to the Uber CEO, which means that funding process is independent of its IPO strategy.