Lyft proceeds with IPO plans as it files confidential registration statement

Lyft Inc. has filed confidential paperwork for its initial public offering, a key step that keeps the ride-hailing firm on pace to hit the public market early next year.

Lyft’s IPO is one of the most anticipated Silicon Valley debuts in recent years. Its confidential filing, which was expected, indicates it likely remains a step in front of rival Uber Technologies Inc. timing-wise, as both firms accelerate toward IPOs in 2019.

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Lyft is expected to debut in March or April, according to people familiar with the matter. By filing with the SEC now, the company will have time to answer questions from the agency in the coming months and stick to that potential time frame.

Lyft, the much smaller of the two ride-hailing companies, is widely expected to beat Uber to the public markets, and in doing so would be the first company to allow public investors to buy into its fast-growing industry. In October, the Journal reported that Lyft had picked its underwriters for the offering. The firm’s valuation is expected to top the $15.1 billion it was valued at earlier this year.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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