Carl Icahn Gives Lyft a $100M Lift
Lyft has briefly emerged from the shadow of rival Uber with Carl Icahn's announcement today that he'd invested $100M in the rideshare company. The famed activist investor (worth $23.2B) said in a statement that he believed "ridesharing is poised to become a fundamental component of our transportation infrastructure. The company’s revenue growth to date has been extremely compelling, and increasing urbanization over the next five to 10 years should enable the company to maintain that trajectory.”
Icahn's pivotal munificence and another $50M raised (from investors as yet undisclosed) are part of a $530M financing round that now values the start-up at $2.5B. San Francisco-based Lyft has struggled to keep up with Uber, which remains the most popular rideshare platform despite a litany of bad press about and prohibitions against the service late last year. In February Uber reported a $1B round which valued it at an eyebrow-raising $40B.
Still, Icahn's endorsement may help Lyft narrow the gap. It also suggests the company may be dropping some of its quirkiness (namely the fender-adorning pink mustaches) in a bid for maturity in the boardroom. (Alibaba is another key investor.) Now, Lyft employees are left to wait for a tweeted boost from Icahn, whose 140-character investment announcements have set stocks aloft.