Uber shares closed at $41.57 after their first day of trading, down almost 8 per cent from its listing price and valuing the company at US$69.7 billion.

The company previously set a target of $44-$50 per share and on Thursday night priced its IPO at $45, towards the lower end of its guidance.

When shares in the ride hailing giant debuted on Friday they were trading $42 under the ticker symbol “UBER”.

The highly anticipated IPO was disappointing. When news of the IPO first emerged in October 2018 it was reported the company was eyeing a valuation of US$120 billion.

Meanwhile Lyft closed down 7.4 per cent to $51.09. Lyft went public at a valuation of $24 billion in late March, however after an initial pop, the ride hailing company is down nearly 30 per cent since its debut.

Both ridesharing companies have been heavily scrutinised for ongoing losses, which are at odds with their current sky-high valuations.

Infographic: Uber's Operating Losses Piled Up to $12 Billion Since 2014 | Statista

Founded in 2009, over the last decade Uber has raised billions from investors to disrupt the taxi industry and change the nature of transportation. The business has fuelled the emergence of the gig economy and inspired business models which capitalise on mobile technology.

Uber has also courting controversy, sparking disputes global regulators and drivers. In 2017 Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick was ousted and replaced by current Dara Khosrowshahi following a tumultuous years which exposed cultural problems and harassment in the start-up.

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