Lyft boosts round to $1.5 billion, led by Alphabet unit

SAN FRANCISCO — Lyft Inc. said its recent funding round is growing 50 percent to $1.5 billion, giving the ride-hailing startup more financial firepower to compete with its larger, troubled rival Uber Technologies Inc.

The round, led by Alphabet Inc.’s CapitalG investment unit, brings Lyft’s valuation to $11.5 billion, after the new cash injection, the startup said Tuesday in an emailed statement. Alphabet is the parent company for Google and self-driving car developer Waymo. 

Fidelity Investments, an Uber backer, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan took part in the latest round, along with existing investors including AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR, Janus Henderson, and Rakuten, Lyft also said.

General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft in January 2016 and GM President Daniel Ammann sits on the company’s board.

Lyft has gained significant market share in the U.S. this year after Uber’s reputation was left in tatters following a string of scandals that culminated with the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick.

A private investor document obtained by Bloomberg projected Lyft would stop losing money for the first time in 2018. However, the startup has ramped up spending more recently to take advantage of Uber’s weaker position. 

“We will continue to invest in our community and look forward to an even bigger 2018,” Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said in Tuesday’s statement.