Where Uber's ugly debut ranks among IPO sell-offs of the decade

The world's largest ride-hailing service reached a major milestone Thursday when Uber priced its long-awaited initial public offering at $45 price per share

Despite the rocky debut, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he was thrilled to complete the IPO, adding that the $8.1 billion that Uber raised in the process would be crucial to its future growth plans. Uber lost $3.03 billion in 2018 from operations.

Well, it didn't pan out like that.

Uber Technologies Inc's conservative initial public offering could not keep its shares from sinking in their trading debut on Friday, fuelling debate on Wall Street over whether the outcome of the most anticipated listing since Facebook Inc would weigh on other Silicon Valley unicorns. "It was a tough week to go public, but we got it done". An hour after launch, it has clawed its way to $44.50 where it bobbed around for another hour before there was a collective "Fuck it!" and down she went.

Uber wanted to play the IPO conservatively after seeing the stock of rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) fall more than 20% from its $72 IPO price over the last six weeks.

The US-China trade war and the Uber drivers strike might have also affected the debut, but the price is still expected to level out and the company should become more attractive for investors, the analyst believes. "Investors really want more of a tangible timeline and paths to profitability for these businesses than what people thought investors would require earlier on in the process".

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But let's be honest, pretty much everything about gig-economy-darling Uber has been disappointing.

After the biggest initial public offering of the year, Uber Technologies Inc ended its first day of trading Friday below its last private valuation. Even at the low end of the price range, Uber's listing was the ninth-largest U.S. IPO of all time and the biggest on a U.S. exchange since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s US$25 billion global record holder in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In distributing the stock, Uber prioritised shareholders - particularly institutional investors - that it thinks will hold on to the shares for a long time. In particular, Uber's poor reception raises questions about how WeWork might be valued in an IPO after posting $1.9 billion in losses previous year on $1.8 billion in revenue.

At 12:07 pm Eastern time, Uber's shares were trading down 3.9 percent at $42.23, giving the company a market valuation of about $72.5 billion, according to a Bloomberg report, below Uber's latest valuation of $76 billion in August past year.

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