Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is taking the lead in a financial boost for ride-sharing service, Lyft. He announced in late December that Kingdom Holding Co. will pay the San Francisco-based company US$104.9 million, which accounts for 2.3% of Lyft. His contribution is part of a larger US$247.7 million investment by an unnamed party.
Unlike Uber, its major competitor in this space, Lyft doesn’t operate oversees. Its overall value, taking into consideration the US$247.7 million investment, plus the recent authorization of the sale of US$1 billion, could jump up to US$5.75 billion. That still is a mere fraction to Uber, which as of late October was valued at over US$50 billion.
So what makes Lyft a venture worth the cash injection? In all fairness to this ride-sharing service, it did have plans to expand oversees, but decided to scale back. After recently striking a partnership with China’s largest ride-share company, Didi Kuaidi, as well as other local services across borders, could we see something interesting in the works between Lyft and Kingdom Holding Co. in KSA? Time will tell.