Report: Lyft picks JPMorgan to lead IPO in 2019

Lyft and Uber’s race to an IPO is heating up.

Lyft has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the lead underwriter of its initial public offering, along with Credit Suisse Group and Jefferies Group, the WSJ reported, citing “people familiar with the company’s plans.”

Lyft declined to comment.

Lyft is expected to file an IPO in the first half of 2019. Choosing an underwriter marks the next official step in the process. Meanwhile, Uber is making its own preparations.

Uber, which has received proposals from banks that placed its value at as much as $120 billion, is also considering an early 2019 listing.

Some people familiar with the plan said Lyft’s valuation will exceed the $15.1 billion it was valued at earlier this year. While Lyft’s value is still considerably lower than Uber’s, it’s on the upswing.

Lyft said in June 2018 that it raised an additional $600 million in a Series I financing round led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, pushing its post-money valuation to $15.1 billion. The valuation had more than doubled in a 14-month span.

Lyft has spent the past 18 months aggressively expanding into new U.S. cities, as well as into Canada and pursuing its autonomous vehicle ambitions. Lyft has increased its market share in the U.S. to 35 percent. In January 2017, Lyft had just 22 percent market share in the United States.

Lyft has raised $2.9 billion in primary capital since April 2017. In total, Lyft has raised $5.1 billion since its inception.