Lyft now has an estimated valuation of around $4.92 billion after the company received $104.9 million from Saudi Arabia's Prince al-Waleed bin Talal. The latter now owns 2.3 percent of Lyft which also received funding of $247.7 million from an unnamed group, eventually getting 5.3 percent stake of the company.
Earlier this month, Lyft filed a target to raise as much as $1 billion by placing 37 million shares at stake which the company has set at around $26.79 price point. The move, according to private market data company VC Experts, will eventually give Lyft a valuation of up to $4.9 billion.
Despite the new funding from a foreign source, Lyft will still be operating exclusively in the U.S. The company has made attempts to expand overseas by partnering with China owned Didi Kuadi.
Al-Waleed is a business magnate and global investor who owns and runs the Kingdom Holding Company, the firm behind the latest funding source for Lyft. Dubbed the "Arabian Warren Buffett" because of his huge business ventures, his company is said to have a market cap worth $18 billion. Some of his investments involve a number of industries such as real estate, technology, banking, media and hotels.
Prior to his deal with Lyft, Al-Waleed had successfully invested in a number technology companies such as AOL. His other business dealings involved owning stakes in Motorola, Twitter, Apple, Citigroup and News Corp.
Lyft's newly earned funding has a value that is still at a fraction compared to Uber's. The latter recently raised additional funding of up to $64.6 billion in value. Unlike Lyft, Uber has been aggressively expanding its services overseas which include the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Similar to Uber, Lyft also has its own pool of drivers who offer on-demand rides through its very own app. In a recently conducted survey, it was learned that majority of these drivers are newbies and would usually be driving for not more than 30 hours a week.
So far, Lyft's focus is more on foreign partnerships and gaining more funding opportunities. Apart from entering partnership with Didi Kuaidi, the largest ride-sharing service provider in China, the company had also been collaborating with other major local players around the globe.