Could an Uber IPO finally be around the corner? Reports on Tuesday are floating around some pretty lofty numbers for the ride-hailing application that's taken the world by storm.

Not that long ago, Uber seemed like a slam-dunk for the public markets as it racked up private funding left and right. But then the company became mired in controversy as more and more questionable business tactics, ethics and workplace environment reports came to light. It eventually led to the ousting of CEO Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of the company.

A lot of those issues have been cleaned up, though, and the company is reportedly looking for a 2019 IPO.

Uber raised $7 billion from SoftBank (SFTBY) back in December, but at a lower valuation than the company has seen in the past. Specifically, SoftBank invested $1.25 billion in Uber at its then $70 billion valuation, but made the rest of its investment at a discounted $48 billion valuation.

Uber accumulated a 15% stake in the company, making it Uber's largest investor. And the company will see a big-time payoff should Uber command the $120 billion valuation that is now being floated for its IPO.

That's right, a $120 billion valuation for a company that, just last December, was raising capital at a $70 billion mark and even lower for SoftBank's largest cash injection. Heck, even in August the company raised $500 million at a $71.5 billion valuation, so this figure is rather staggering. 

Consider that at $120 billion, Uber would be worth more than Ford Motor (F) , General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) -- combined. Currently, the Big Three have a combined market cap of "just" $104 billion. You can also throw in GM's majority stake in Cruise too, which was recently valued at more than $14.5 billion after an investment from Honda (HMC) ; SoftBank also has a stake in it.

For those taking notes, SoftBank seemingly has its hands on everything ride-hailing and autonomous

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The timing is also interesting, as reports from a week ago suggest a first half 2019 IPO for Lyft. While Lyft is much smaller than Uber, it's quickly garnering a larger valuation, as it has gone from roughly $5 billion two years ago to more than $15 billion after its latest deal from June.

While Uber is still the market share leader in the U.S., Lyft is clawing back some of that share. After registering just 17% market share in January 2016, that figure is up to 35% now, according to the company.

Also making Uber's potential IPO interesting is the reported $1.5 billion in junk bonds that Uber is offering. With $500 million worth of five-year 7.5% bonds and $1 billion worth of eight-year 8% bonds, the company is clearly still looking for capital. An IPO may be just the thing to command a high valuation and get a massive amount of capital in the process.

Plus, I'm sure early insider investors are eager to see a return on their capital.

Want to Buy Stocks for a 10% or Greater Discount? You can with certain so-called "closed-end" mutual funds - an often overlooked investment class. Click here to register for a free online video in which TheStreet's retirement expert Robert Powell and an all-star panel run down all you need to know.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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