Lyft's shares soar as investors bet on ride-hailing future

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The IPO excitement started very early outside of Lyft's headquarters on Friday morning.

Droves of employees flowed inside the building with an extra spring in their step as they waited for the Nasdaq bell to ring.

The ride-hailing company has officially gone public and was valued at more than $20 billion on Friday morning.

RELATED: Uber and Lyft drivers demand changes before companies IPO

"Going public is a momentous occasion for us at Lyft," Anthony Foxx, Lyft's Chief Policy Officer said. "We are a company of values."

The Nasdaq bell rang in L.A., but it sure felt like bells were going off in San Francisco as well. ABC7 News heard employees celebrated with mimosas, coffee and bagels inside the headquarters.

As the company went public, Lyft tweeted a video outlining the future of their company and unveiled a program called City Works. It'll start in L.A. before spreading to other metropolitan areas.

Through City Works, Lyft is committing a minimum of $50 million a year (or 1 percent of profits) whichever is higher, to continue "improving city life through grassroots transportation initiatives."

RELATED: Impending Lyft IPO could mean big bonuses for drivers and sweeping changes for customers

Outside of the San Francisco headquarters, employees were met by frustrated Lyft drivers. The drivers were calling for a living wage, transparency in how they're paid, deactivation information and series of other demands.

"Some benefits," Lauren Swiger, a Lyft driver said. "We have absolutely have no rights. As workers we have no voice in our work, which Lyft continues to deny us."

RELATED: Lyft drivers holding protest in downtown San Francisco

Swiger has been driving for Lyft for four years. She knows the IPO has created some instant millionaires and hopes it will help the little guys too.

Experts believe Lyft is just the start of the tech IPO "tidal wave" with major companies like Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest likely to follow suit.

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