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Lyft Gets $500 Million Funding Boost

John Zimmer, President, Lyft Interview

Investors are sinking more money into ride-hailing services company Lyft as the startup captures more market share from rival Uber and pursues autonomous driving.

The startup announced Tuesday its recent round of funding has increased from $1 billion of new capital to $1.5 billion.

The additional $500 million in financing included participation from new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR, Janus Henderson Investors, and Rakuten—all of which have invested in Lyft before—also joined this expanded round.

CapitalG led the initial round of $1 billion. Lyft’s post-money valuation is now $11.5 billion.

Lyft has aggressively expanded in 2017. Lyft Co-Founder and President John Zimmer said the company has more than doubled the 162.6 million rides given in 2016. Lyft expanded geographically as well and is now available in all 50 U.S. states and has statewide coverage in 41. It also made the jump into Canada—it’s first international move—and started offering the service in Toronto.

Despite this growth, Lyft and its new investor see room to capture more market share and pursue its autonomous driving ambitions. Lyft launched an open platform designed to give automakers and tech companies working on self-driving cars access to its ride-sharing network of nearly 1 million rides per day. Before the platform was announced Lyft locked in partnerships a number of partnerships with automakers and tech companies developing self-driving car systems, including Google’s Waymo, General Motors, and Jaguar Land Rover as well as startups NuTonomy and

Less than 0.5% of total miles traveled are in ride-share vehicles. Research suggests the ride-share market is far from reaching a saturation point. A 2016 Pew study found 15% of American adults have ever used ride-sharing apps and one-third (33%) have never heard of these services before.

Google was an early investor in ride-hailing rival Uber, a company now being sued by Alphabet entity Waymo. It made its first investment into Lyft in October. CapitalG partner David Lawee was joined Lyft’s board. CapitalG began in 2013 as Google Capital. The growth equity investment fund changed its name in 2016 following Google’s creation of parent company Alphabet. Valerie Jarrett, a member of the Obama Administration, also joined the board this year.

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