Word just got out that Uber is trying to go public at a $120B valuation. But it looks like Lyft is trying to beat its arch-rival to the punch!
The Wall Street Journal just reported today that Lyft picked a dream team banking squad led by JPMorgan Chase to lead its IPO, scheduled for early ’19.
Lyft’s banking on a market cap well above $15.1B, the valuation it scored in its latest private funding round in June so investors can hit their ROI targets.
And yes, Uber will be worth around 10x that but it would be a major score for Lyft to beat its ride-hailing foe to the public markets.
Ah, the IPOs!
Just like 1980’s Hulkamania, IPOs have been running wild in 2018.
VCs are getting their 10x, investors get in on the action, and founders get stinky rich. Oh yeah, baby. And even though most of them are unprofitable, they’re still scoring massive market valuations.
So when is this gonna go down?
As of now, Uber’s worth $70B. They’ve said all along they’ve planned to pop the public markets in the second half of 2019.
But according to the WSJ report, they could speed up their schedule and go live on the public markets as early as next year. Apparently Uber received valuation proposals last month from a Wall Street goon squad of their own in Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
This is often the final stage before a company officially hires a bank to underwrite its offering. As expected, Lyft and Uber both declined to comment.
Why are they fighting to go first again?
Well, there’s no sophisticated reason behind other than the obvious. Even though it’s worth less, Lyft wants to offer ride-sharing stocks first before a competitor gets to satisfy market demand for the hot industry.
Here’s a thing to watch. Lyft is US and almost car-only. Although it’s making its play with its direct-to-user micromobility play with bikes and electric scooters.
Uber, on the other hand, is worldwide, operating in 600 cities in 78 countries. Uber’s even teaming up with taxis around the world and ish.
(Editor’s note: Watch out for tomorrow’s lead story on that!)
UberEats > Lyft
Another factor to consider. Uber’s UberEats—their fast-growing food delivery service—alone (rumored at $20B) could be worth more than Lyft as a whole.
Here’s the kicker: Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs’ valuation targets reportedly come from Uber’s non-rides businesses. In other words, Uber’s valuation doesn’t even come from its core business.
Let that sink in for a second.
Should Lyft beat Uber to the punch, that obviously is a huge win. Despite its smaller business, when it comes to hitching a paid ride, US app users look at Uber, then look at Lyft.
On the other hand, should Uber pull off the IPO first—especially in light of this news—going public would mark a huge symbolic victory for CEO Dara Khosrowshahi who took the reigns last summer on the heels of #MeToo scandals and a mass executive exodus.
How Mark Cuban Invested $640k In A Company That Started…As A Prank
In what turned out to be a ruse, a startup disguised their business as a prank to raise over $640k from investor Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.
Minneapolis-based entrepreneurs, Ryan Walther and Arik Nordby, founded Prank-O, a business that was built around amusing their friends with bizarre and fake products.
In their pitch to the Sharks, they introduced a string of products in gift boxes — ranging from coffee-maker shower heads to snack hats — only to reveal later that the novel products were fake.
The duo looked to snag an investment of $640k for an 8% stake in the business, before revealing their declining sales — from $10M five years ago to an estimated $2.8M this year.
The dip in sales came after the team tried to branch into creating the prank products, stringing together debt worth nearly $1M.
Despite the numbers, Mark Cuban bit. “I’ll make you an offer, but you’re going to have to listen,” Cuban said.
“You’ve got a great product, you’ve got great comedy minds, but your track record speaks for itself, and I don’t mean that in any disrespect, but all entrepreneurs go through this,” he said, offering $640k for 25%, more than three times what the company initially pitched.
(WTF?!) Is The MBA Dead?
Well, well, well, what do we have here.
So according to a (totally non-biased) press release from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) earlier this year, MBA grads are making more money than ever.
(Just for clarity, the GMAC is a “global association of leading graduate business schools.”)
Apparently, US employers plan to offer new MBA hires a starting salary of $115,000, the highest ever recorded in the US when adjusted for inflation.
Key words: PLAN. TO.
In spite of these lofty, non-scientific projections, the number of MBA applications—as a whole—is on the downslide. Here’s a chart from the otherwise very optimistic GMAC.
(Yes, the entire WealthLAB crew is MBAs, too. Jury’s still out whether that makes us marks or smart. 🙄)
And according to Forbes, this makes it the best time ever to pursue an Ivy League MBA.
So what does this all mean? Let’s unpack it for a second.
Top 10 programs are letting everyone in…
According to the various reports, some programs across the country have seen double-digit drops, with the top 10 business schools seeing serious declines.
At the highly selective Yale University, the acceptance rate jumped by nearly 44%. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, another Top 10 program, admitted more than one in three of its applicants, a 48% increase in a single year.
Meanwhile its applications dropped by 22.5%.
“The joke among deans is that ‘flat is the new up,'” Andrew Ainslie, the dean of the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. “If we can just hold our numbers, that is an incredible achievement.”
Other Ivy League schools have dropped also, with Harvard measuring a fall of 4.5%. Meanwhile, big names like Stanford saw a bit more at 4.6% and UC-Berkeley Haas at a shaking 7.5%.
And outside the Top 10?
When these numbers are narrowed down to individual schools, like University of Michigan Ross School of Business, the picture gets worse. This university saw the biggest reduction, noting an 8.5% decline with just over 3,000 candidates applying.
There are only a few reported exceptions to this overall decline, but the biggest business schools in the nation agree that there is a serious reduction in MBA interest.
Ainslie says up to 20% of the top 100 MBA programs in the country are likely to close in the next few years.
Uncertainty over work visas for international students, the strong US economy with decreasing job loss, and the rising costs of degrees are all noted as potential causes.
The positive side to the story, as Ainslie pointed out, is that it’s going to spark new development in the design of existing MBA programs. One particular program has been built around entrepreneurship.
In addition, the prestigious post-MBA job paths—think investment banking and management consulting—have been replaced by jobs in the tech world and Silicon Valley.
“Tech has displaced consulting and finance as the preferred career path for top-tier college students,” says David Minnick, founder and CEO of Camino Data, and former president of beverage company, Purity Organic.
“When I started Princeton in 2003, it was still a big deal to get a MBA or JD/MBA after college,” he tells Forbes. “That was the thing to do.
“Four years later, when I graduated, we wanted to be more entrepreneurial. We saw people who had started successful tech businesses. We saw there were low barriers to entry, and that it was okay to fail.”
Student debt vs. MVP?
There’s also the whole cost thing. Business school can run you $200,000, making it a cringe option for 20-somethings already riddled with debt. For founders, this is money better spent building an MVP.
(No, not Most Valuable Player. Minimum Viable Product.)
Not to mention the experience it brings.
“When I interviewed people with an MBA, or experience at a big beverage company like Coke or Pepsi,” says Minnick, :I was concerned that their personality type wouldn’t be the right fit for a young and growing company like ours.”
In his view, hustle, skills and culture fit are far better predictors of performance than a degree.
Ivy League MBA fire sale…🗑
Apparently this all means that IF you are one who’s always dreamed of an MBA from a prestigious school, there’s no better time than now.
“With an unprecedented decline in MBA application volume at many business schools – including iconic, top-tier programs – there’s definitely a ‘perfect storm’ happening for prospective applicants,” Alex Min, CEO of The MBA Exchange, a top admissions consulting firm, says.
“Deans and admissions committees are feeling strong pressure to fill available seats with qualified candidates, even if some of these individuals might not have been admitted in previous years when application volume was growing.”
How To Launch Your Business In 30 Days Or Less
Got a great business idea that you think might be the next big thing? Despite the uncertainty and the risks tagged to becoming an entrepreneur, you wouldn’t know until you try. Besides, it takes less than a month to launch a product or service. Here’s how you make that happen.
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