The Big Story
Lyfting the Veil on African E-commerce
Last month on March 28th, a week after denim stalwart Levi Strauss & Co. completed its initial public offering to return to the stock market after going private in 1985, ridesharing giant Lyft priced its IPO at $72 per share, the top of a revised range that was first quoted as $62 to $68. On its first day of trading, Lyft’s stock popped as much as 23% before settling up 9% for the day, giving this former unicorn a market capitalization of $22.2 billion. Lyft’s successful IPO provided an “all clear” signal to market observers, especially the venture capitalists who control other scaled-but-not-yet-profitable tech leaders, that public investors are ready for and receptive to these companies. In the three weeks since Lyft’s IPO, technology-enabled businesses such as Zoom Video Communications and Pinterest have gone public. Expected on the horizon are Slack, Postmates, Airbnb, Palantir, Uber and others.