Uber reveals IPO, offers a driver bonus up to $10,000

Ride-hailing giant Uber is set to go public, as it seeks to raise $1 billion.

The company brought in $11.3 billion in 2018 revenue, a 42% increase from $7.9 billion in 2017, but had an operating loss of just under $1 million. 

Rival Lyft went public in early April but hasn't found great success on Wall Street so far. Shares closed Thursday at $61.01, which is down over 15% from its IPO price.

The Uber logo.

The company said in its filing that it makes 14 million trips daily, 10 billion trips in total, and has paid out $78 billion total to drivers since first launching in 2009.  The unveiling comes four months after Uber took its first step toward its initial public offering with a confidential filing.

The breakdown shows Uber has been generating the robust revenue growth that entices investors but also racked up nearly $8 billion in losses since its inception.

In announcing the IPO, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the firm is just getting started. "Uber accounts for less than 1% of all miles driven globally," he wrote, in a letter to investors. "We are still barely scratching the surface when it comes to huge industries like food and logistics and how the future of urban mobility will reshape cities for the better."

Ride-sharing looks to be a big growth area. Uber said it generated $9.2 billion worth of rides from people sharing the back seat, up from $3.5 billion in 2016. 

In the filing, Uber defended paying drivers as contractors for its business model, saying the company "would be adversely affected if drivers were classified as employees."

In a bone to drivers, who have loudly complained of low pay, Uber said it would pay them a one-time "appreciation reward" from a pool of $300 million to over 1.1 million qualifying drivers. The driver will get bonuses of $100, $500, $1,000 or $10,000 based on the number of trips they had generated. 

"We expect to pay the Driver appreciation reward to qualifying Drivers on or around April 27, 2019."

 A statement you probably wouldn't see in other IPO brochures: "Platform users may engage in, or be subject to, criminal, violent, inappropriate, or dangerous activity that results in major safety incidents, which may harm our ability to attract and retain Drivers, consumers, restaurants, shippers, and carriers."


Associated Press contributed to this story.