For Uber and Lyft, this week has been a wild ride

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

Uber and Lyft have been on quite a ride this year. After enjoying modest gains earlier this year thanks to an improved profitability forecast from Uber, the two companies saw their share prices gain ground after a difficult 2019. Then COVID-19 began to shutter the world, pushing its share prices so low that we recently felt compelled to write about their declines; losses that steep are material and can negatively impact private, on-demand startups as they hunt for new capital or an exit.

But then, late this week, it all turned around. Yesterday, Uber’s shares rose 38% and are up another 9% in pre-market trading. Similarly, Lyft rose 29% yesterday and is up nearly 8% this morning. What drove the up for American ride-hailing? An analyst call that Uber held yesterday, in which it told analysts that it has enough cash to get through just about anything in 2020. Ingrid Lunden covered the news as it happened for TechCrunch.

This morning let’s unpack what the company said and ask if it’s reasonable that investors are pushing Lyft higher alongside Uber. Then we’ll check the two firm’s new revenue multiples and think about what they mean for on-demand startups looking for capital or an IPO. Let’s go.