Ride hailing services company Uber, backed by many corporate investors, held its long-awaited $8.1bn IPO, which was the world's largest since 2014, though many consider it a disappointment

US-based on-demand ride service Uber, which counts with a range of corporate investors as backers, raised $8.1bn when it went public on the New York Stock Exchange. This was a long-awaited IPO of what was for long the most highly valued unicorn in the venture capital realm. Uber issued 180 million shares, priced at $45.00 each, near the bottom of the $44 to $50 range it had set earlier. The offering’s 29 underwriters have a 30-day option to acquire a further 27 million shares, which could lift the size of the IPO to more than $9.3bn.

Even though this was the largest IPO since e-commerce firm Alibaba floated in 2014, raising $25bn, it was considered by many a disappointment. It valued Uber at $82.4bn on the first day of trading but, subsequently, its share price went down to $41, thus leaving it with a total market capitalisation of around $69bn. While this is certainly an impressive figure for a company that has withstood a lot of challenges since its inception, it is still a far cry from the $120bn, which the investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, its underwriters, were targeting. However, it must be noted that the IPO was caught in the middle of political and economic turmoil in the Trump administration imposing tariffs on a range of goods and services from China.

Founded in 2009, Uber runs an app-based on-demand ride service spanning 63 countries in addition to food delivery and last-mile delivery services. Its core ride hailing service boasts 91 million monthly active users and its UberEats offering 15 million. It recently spun off an autonomous driving subsidiary called Uber ATG, which received $1bn in funding from automotive manufacturer Toyota, automotive components producer Denso and telecoms conglomerate SoftBank.