However, IPO surprised everyone and ended its first day with investors scratching their heads as shares of the company fell as much as 8.8% from its offer price of $45 a piece on the NYSE.
Uber's market cap was around $74 billion when its shares started to trade on NYSE.
The opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange was rung by Austin Geidt, one of Uber's earliest employees.
"The last USA company of this size to IPO was Facebook, for example, and you may remember how that traded initially". 'As we aim to reduce Driver incentives to improve our financial performance, we expect Driver dissatisfaction will generally increase, ' it notes.
In a prospectus filed with the SEC prior to its IPO, Uber explained that its entire strategy was to dominate the transportation ecosystem, from taxi services to buses meal delivery to trucking to those e-scooter things that everyone hates, and outlast its competitors by hoping everyone else runs out of money before they do. Lyft was down 4 percent, well below its IPO price.
Uber wanted to play the IPO conservatively after seeing the stock of rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) fall more than 20% from its $72 IPO price over the last six weeks.
Uber was the biggest of a group of Silicon Valley startups that have spent years raising money in private rounds at record prices. Just seven ended the first day of trading in the red. The San Francisco-based company lost US$3.04 billion last year on an operating basis on revenue of US$11.3 billion, bringing total operating losses over the past three years to more than US$10 billion, according to filings.
The company weathered controversies including the unearthing of a culture of sexism and bullying at Uber to a US Department of Justice federal investigation, which culminated in the resignation of co-founder and Chief Executive Travis Kalanick in 2017.
"The most important sort of statistic to look at is bookings, because that reflects essentially what people are paying for the service", he said. That gave Uber a market value of $72 billion, almost $50 billion less than investment bankers had forecast when work on the IPO began. Its initial public offering on Thursday was priced at $45, at the lower end of its $44 to $50 per share target range. "Now we have to execute to make sure that the bet that they made on us is a great bet".
At 12:07 pm Eastern time, Uber's shares were trading down 3.9 percent at $42.23, giving the company a market valuation of about $72.5 billion, according to a Bloomberg report, below Uber's latest valuation of $76 billion in August previous year.
Uber is a decade-old ride-share mobile app that is live in 63 countries and over 700 cities. Initial reports suggest that the Uber's bankers, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, had misjudged the demand.