LUPA stocks are a label for four companies that took birth in the era of mobile apps. The four companies are Lyft, Uber, Pinterest, Airbnb, and these are also known as PAUL stocks. The four companies have concluded their Initial Public offerings (IPOs), and these are being busily being traded on public stock exchanges.
All four companies have concluded · IPOs.
The L in LUPA stands for Lyft, the mobile ride-sharing company which started as a competitor to Uber in 2012. U stands for Uber, obviously, the omnipresent ride-sharing company that has ventured out into the other markets. Uber was founded in 2009. P stands for Pinterest, the website-based photo bulletin board, which also acts as a social network. “A” stands for Airbnb, the sought-after short-term rental and lifestyle experience platform that has taken the travel and lodging industry by storm. All these companies have popped out as a part of the mobile app era and are heavily funded by venture capitalists and private equity money players. They are widely adopted and have loyal consumers, which makes them strong brands. But since these are start-ups, profits are mysterious in the initial years. But the scale and popularity of these unicorns have attracted investors and public market players, and all four have concluded their IPOs in the past few years.
Lyft, the popular ride-sharing app, started in San Francisco, California, by Bounder Web, Inc. This was in the year 2007. The name changed to Zimride in 2008 and then finally settled to Lyft in 2012. Logan Green, CEO, and John Zimmer, President, are the entrepreneurs who founded the company. Lyft makes, markets, and operates a mobile app. They offer vehicles for hire, motorized scooters, and a bicycle sharing system, and also run a food delivery system. It operates primarily in 644 cities of the United States and also in 12 cities of Canada. The company finished its initial public offering (IPO) in March of 2019. The mission of Lyft is “to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.” The shares have fallen by almost 23% as of April 2021 since its IPO inception. Lyft has a market value of $20 billion and is the smallest one in the market cap.
Uber, Lyft’s main competitor in the ride-sharing economy, has been pretty much on its toes since the past decade with its inception in 2009. It used to be known as UberCab back then. The ride-sharing app functions globally and has ventured into other businesses, including food delivery, trucking, and scooter rental. Its popularity is off the charts. The entrepreneurs Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp are the brainchild of Uber. The shares are more than 36% since its inception as of April of 2021.
It is a much bigger company than Lyft and received a decent amount of negative press ranging from issues such as sexual harassment lawsuits and its usage of software to track the drivers of Lyft. Uber sorted out a class action suit brought into the picture by the current and former employees of female and color workers. The claim was citing several harassments and discrimination events. in 2017, the firm fired 20 employees for harassment and then had a $10 million settlement. Various cities have put some restrictions, and some even made a move to ban them. Amidst the controversies, co-founder Kalanick stepped down in 2017, and former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took his place.
Pinterest is a famous photo-sharing and social media service American company that allows the saving and discovery of information on the net using images, small-sized animated GIFs, and videos, which are known as pinboards. It has its headquarters in San Francisco but has offices all around the globe. Approximately 50 percent of its users are from outside the United States. IPO of Pinterest was completed in April 2019. Since its inception, the company’s stock rose by 20% as of April 2021.
Airbnb is a famous peer-to-peer short-term lodging service platform that had transformed how the travel industry can function when it was founded in 2008. The company also ventured into various tourism services and several other avenues. Airbnb is the brainchild of three entrepreneurs, Brain Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharzyk. It has faced pushback in some bigger cities like New York, where the operations have been restricted. The lobbying efforts from the hotel industry were quite fierce, and there were safety and taxation concerns.
The IPO was concluded in December 2020. As of April 2021, the shares are as high as around 25%. Airbnb is capped at $110 billion and is the biggest among the four LUPA stocks in the market cap. In contextual terms, that is almost double the market cap of Marriot (MAR), the biggest hotel chain in the world. Mind-boggling.
Private start-up companies with approximate valuations of more than $1 billion are called unicorns, and these four companies fit the criteria. Over some time, these companies into multi-billion dollar start-ups. Investors are pretty inclined to reward other tech-based companies that lost money in the initial years as they did in the case of Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX). But in the case of LUPA or PAUL stocks (whatever suits you), they have been able to expand their businesses supported by venture capitalists and private equity investors and then encash on the public markets.
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