Lyft Funding Official: Documents Filed for New $150 Million Round
Lyft, the ride-sharing app that is locked in an expensive competition with rival Uber, is at least part of the way to its next round of funding.
The company filed a document associated with a Series D round worth $150 million in Delaware this week, which is embedded below. Reports of the fundraising had surfaced recently, but this public filing makes it official.
The new round is for 14.8 million shares with a liquidation preference of $10.13. Earlier shares are valued at 22 cents to $4.25.
However, three sources familiar with the transaction said the round was closing in two tranches, with $80 million in the first part — which is done — and $70 million expected to follow. It is unclear from the document if that is the case or not.
No investors were named in the filing, but several sources said that private equity firm Coatue Management, among others, have been in advanced talks with Lyft.
The round is supposed to give Lyft a pre-money valuation of $700 million, a source said, which is much lower than some familiar with the transaction had expected.
Uber raised $250 million at a $3.5 billion valuation last summer.
That company, which competes directly with Lyft via its UberX offering that matches non-commercially licensed drivers with passengers for pay, also has other products including a luxury sedan option.
In key markets like their home city of San Francisco, Uber has been particularly aggressively spending to try to edge Lyft out of the market. It cut prices by 20 percent in January, while reducing its cut of fares to just five percent. It has also run promotions that offer Lyft drivers $500 to sign up for Uber, without asking for any sort of exclusivity.
Meanwhile, Lyft has worked to make its competitive edge a sort of friendly, community feeling among peers — with drivers rigging enormous fuzzy stuffed pink mustaches on their cars, as well as riders sitting in the front passenger seat. But it is also working to actively recruit new drivers and expand — so that experience is not as consistent as it might have been in the past.
But it is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Lyft launched just a year and a half ago. Though the same company had previously arranged long-distance carpools under the name Zimride (that’s since been spun off), its valuation today is based on the very young mobile ride-sharing business.
A third competitor, Sidecar, also recently announced funding, but it is out of the running in terms of the cash race. It raised $10 million last summer, and is now working to differentiate itself by allowing drivers to promote themselves in more of an open marketplace.
Lyft has not yet responded to an inquiry about the funding. It has raised just over $80 million so far, from investors that include Founders Fund, Mayfield Ventures and Floodgate. Its last round in May of 2013 was with Andreessen Horowitz, which invested $60 million.
Here is Lyft’s public filing in Delaware, which was done on Thursday: