Why it matters: One of the most anticipated Silicon Valley IPOs in recent memory didn’t get off to the start that many expected as Uber priced its stock at $45 per share, towards the lower end of the expects $44 to $50 range. Nevertheless, the offering values Uber at $82.4 billion – impressive, no doubt, but less than the $100 billion forecast Uber floated to investors this year and far below the $120 billion that some bankers anticipated last year.

Uber opened on the New York Stock Exchange earlier today under the ticker symbol “UBER” and is no doubt hoping to avoid the same sort of start that rival Lyft experienced.

Lyft opened on the NASDAQ at the end of March and things seemed strong at first. Yet in its second day on the market, reality struck and values took a turn south. As of writing, Lyft is trading at just $52.27 from a high of more than $78.

Lyft in its first quarterly report as a public company posted a loss of $1.1 billion.

Sources briefed on Uber’s IPO told The New York Times that prospective investors showed huge interest near the bottom range. The hope among underwriters is that by pricing the stock conservatively, shares will experience a solid first-day gain.

As of this writing, Uber shares are trading at $43.29.

Lead image courtesy Andrew Kelly via Reuters