The company posted a profit of $997 million a year ago, but that doesn't mean its ride-hailing service suddenly started to make money - far from it. The positive result previous year resulted from a windfall Uber received from selling its Russian and Southeast Asian operations, according to The Associated Press.
Its number of monthly users, who turn to Uber for not only rides but also services like food delivery, was 91 million in 2018, up 34per cent from a year earlier.
Ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft have taken insurance matters into their own hands, largely managing their own risk.
He struck his note of contrition and optimism in a letter included in the federal documents.
However, analysts have warned that Uber and Lyft face a hard road to profitability amid challenges from regulators and established taxi operators around the world.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber expects to raise around $10bn, and plans to sell at least $1bn of shares initially. Drivers for both companies complain about declining earnings, and they can easily switch between platforms, making it hard for either company to further reduce driver costs and keep fares cheap for passengers. Uber had been faulted for a culture of workplace sexual harassment, programmes to evade regulators and a viral video of Kalanick lambasting a driver as the company faced mounting pressure of treatment of its contract workforce.
Uber's adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was just over $1.8 billion in 2018 compared to $2.6 billion in 2017. Despite rides being Uber's original business and accounting for the vast majority of its sales, the company spends big chunks of its IPO document talking about everything else. "That's a sign that will be looked on favorably in the next few weeks".
The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission comes on the heels of Lyft's IPO, which debuted at $86 per share. Lyft's shares opened at $72 but were down to a new low of about $60 as of Wednesday afternoon, reported CNBC.
The rocky start may have prompted Uber to tamp down its IPO ambitions.
"If we are unable to compete effectively in these industries, our business and financial prospects would be adversely impacted", the company's filing said.
Investment bankers had previously told Uber it could be worth as much as $120 billion.
Uber's archrival in North America, Lyft, went public last month at a valuation of US$24 billion.
Founded by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick in 2009, Uber began as an on-demand black auto service for wealthy clients, riding the wave of mobile-technology innovation that followed Apple's introduction of the iPhone in 2007. But that stake had fallen to about 15.4% of the company as of the end of September previous year, according to Uber's prospectus.
Lyft lost $950 million in 2018 on the same basis. The setbacks have included rampant internal sexual harassment and allegations it stole self-driving vehicle technology.
- Travis Kalanick, Uber's founder, owns 8.6%.
That still pales into comparison to the largest shareholder, SoftBank, which spearheaded the largest-ever equity transaction in a VC-backed startup with a roughly $9 billion deal with Uber and its investors.
Waymo, in its lawsuit, had said one of its former engineers who became chief of Uber's self-driving auto project took with him thousands of confidential documents.