Lyft just gave us the first look inside its financials — and its revenue is growing much faster than its losses

Roman Tirapolsky/shutterstockFiat 500 painted pink and carrying a Lyft logo is parked in the streets of Manhattan.

Lyft has finally publicly filed its long-awaited IPO documents.

The S-1, unveiled for the first time on Friday, is our first look under-the-hood, so to speak, at the company’s financials. Unlike it’s much larger competitor, Uber, Lyft has not publicly released much about its financial situation.

Lyft is losing money – and at a quickening pace – but its revenues are growing even faster.

Lyft made $US2.1 billion in revenue in 2018, the document shows, by providing more than 1 billion rides. That’s up more than six times its $US343.3 million from 2016 and double 2017’s $US1.06 billion.

Losses are also growing

The company posted a $US911.3 million loss in 2018 – its biggest annual loss in the past three years. For 2016 and 2017, its losses were $US682.8 million and $US688.3 million. At this rate, losses have been growing at about 33% per year, much slower than its revenue has grown.

“Our expenses will likely increase in the future as we develop and launch new offerings and platform features, expand in existing and new markets, increase our sales and marketing efforts and continue to invest in our platform,” the company said in its filing.

Revenue as a percentage of bookings, a key factor for all ride-hailing companies, is also steadily growing. In its most recent quarter, that percentage had topped 28%. The company says this measure is key because helps to gauge driver utilization on the platform, and “earn increased service fees and commissions from drivers.”

Then there’s the per-ride question.

Lyft makes about $US36 per rider, it said – that’s up from nearly half that in 2016 as the company finds ways to make each and every ride on its platform more profitable. Products like Lyft Line, a shared ride with multiple customers, can help the company boost that per-ride revenue number given there’s only one driver to pay for each shared ride.

Here’s its most recent financial data, from the filing:

More from Lyft’s IPO filing:

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