We have Lyft off – tracking the Lyft IPO

Lyft IPO 1030 Mar 29th

Chart end of day March  29 – Volume of “analyst” discussion on 4 key unicorns, starting with Lyft S-1 filing on March 1st

A number of the better known large private Tech companies (the  “Unicorns”) recently announced they are going to hold Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s) of public shares (or stock) in 2019, in fact there has been a bit of a rush (a “stampede” even) to do so. There are a number of factors driving this which we won’t go into here, but we have been tracking them to see what the DataSwarm system can pick up, and if we can use it to predict anything about the IPO and onging stock prices.

One of the major Unicorns, Lyft, is due to make its IPO issue and trade in its shares (stocks) over March 28/29, so this post is to show what can be seen on the eve of the “first of the Unicorns” for 2019

The chart above shows the cumulative volume of traffic over the period for four of the “big name” IPOs – Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest – the traffic in this sample is filtered, it is only from the stock analyst community rather than the general social mediaverse (we are interested to see the difference between finance “experts” opinions and the general public opinion on this topic).

This snapshot of the original chart was taken at 10 pm UK time (3 pm Silicon Valley time) on the 27th March, and showed that the volume of Lyft dicussion has risen ahead of the others. The 27th was not yet over but Lyft had already “lifted off” above its peak from the day before – see right hand side of the diagram. This has continued today.

  • Update end 27 March – a Lyft lift is visible  but compared to previous lifts at key events in March, this is somewhat muted. Notwithstanding this, Lyft has increased the IPO price
  • Update 3.30pm 28 March – slow morning but traffic is now growing fatser, but still not nearly hit the heights of Lyft traffic on previous milestone announcements. This relative peak and velocity of rise is what we are watching carefully. The stock is priced at $72 per share, at the top of the increased range.
  • Update end 28 March – Lyft traffic on the day stock was priced did not reach the heights of the S-1 or Roadshow. This is where it starts to get interesting – does this imply the IPO later today will not rocket, but will be a bit lacklustre? Or is all the “irrational exuberance” saved up for the day itself?
  • Update end 29 March – Lyft stock “popped” at 21% as trading started but ended theday trading 8.7 percent up at $78.29 — something of a modest IPO for such a giant tech company. After a fairly lacklustre day yesterday at the pricing and issuing stage, the system recorded an order of magnitude jump in traffic compared to previous S-1 and roadshow highs. 

If you look at the diagram from the left, this gives the timeline from when Lyft had a “lift” from filing and releasing it’s S-1 document on March 1st. This is the document that sets out a lot of the financial and other data that allows potential investors to understand the business – thus it drives a lot of conversation. On March 17 it gave notice of its Investment roadshow – the period when they will go around all potential investors around the US to drum up interest – which was very high, as the spike shows (the offering is reportedly oversubscribed).

On March 14 Uber announced its intention to hold an IPO in April (it had to in reality, as Lyft will get the large injection of money from it’s IPO and if Uber doesn’t follow suit it will be facing a newly charged competitor). Uber, being so large and well known started to generate a lot of volume from the instant it formally announced its intent, and further garnered a major jump from announcing on March 22nd it will list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) rather than the NASDAQ, the usual exchange for “Tech” stocks. Pinterest has also announced its intention to IPO and filed its S-1 on March 22nd, with similar impact in volume of discussion. Airbnb sort of did – then didn’t – so no one is quite sure and so the topic volume is far more muted, it’s only major bump was from the general discussion of the bigger Unicorns among all the other announcements in the St Patrick’s Day weekend.

We will update the chart periodically, so hang in for the ride