With firms like Goldman Sachs, Blackrock and Fidelity invested in Uber, we analyzed the 62 investors who could bankroll a Lyft mega-round.
Earlier this fall, details emerged that Uber attempted to sabotage Lyft’s Series D funding round. As Uber CEO Travis Kalanick explained in Vanity Fair –
We knew that Lyft was going to raise a ton of money. And we are going [to their investors], ‘Just so you know, we’re going to be fund-raising after this, so before you decide whether you want to invest in them, just make sure you know that we are going to be fund-raising immediately after.
With its latest $1.2B in new financing, Uber is now backed by at least 7 hedge funds, mutual funds or sovereign wealth funds while Baidu’s minority investment and partnership only added to the war chest. With Uber’s significant capital advantage, it’s clear Lyft will need to raise more money (they are currently in the market) so we wondered if the data could help us determine who might be the likely investors in a future Lyft mega-round.
To analyze this, we looked at 62 investors who have participated in a $100M financing round since 2012 (smaller investors participating in such rounds to maintain their pro-rata were filtered out). Next, we analyzed whether this set of investors has:
- invested in Uber
- is a sector fit based on prior investments
- is a geography fit based on prior investments
- is an AUM fit (could be a major participant in a $500M+ round)
- invested in a ride-sharing or mobile taxi-type competitor
Here’s what we found.
Uber vs. Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft have a stable of big money backers. The business social graph below visualizes Series C+ investors in both Uber and Lyft. As the chart highlights, big money investors in Uber range from corporate VCs (Google Ventures) to sovereign wealth funds (Qatar Investment Authority) to hedge funds (Lone Pine, Glade Brooks, Valiant Capital) to mutual funds (Wellington Management, BlackRock, Fidelity). Given their capital commitments, these investors can likely be ruled out as big money investors in Lyft off the bat.
Lyft’s next funding options
Next, we took the universe of $100M+ round investors and classified them based on the criteria listed above. 15 of the big money investors have previously invested in Uber while another nine including Softbank and Tiger Global have invested in a separate mobile taxi company.
So who might be Lyft’s next options? Of course, the most obvious potential investors could be Lyft’s previous investors including Alibaba, Coatue Management and Third Point, all of whom are high potential fits. With Uber announcing a huge partnership with Baidu last month, a Lyft-Alibaba tie-up might make more sense.
Other investors who might be a fit for a Lyft mega-financing are General Atlantic, which reportedly passed on an Uber investment at a $14B valuation as well as late-stage players such as Dragoneer Investment Group, which was in AirBnB’s 2014 $475M deal, and GIC, which was in some of the largest deals to venture-backed companies last year in Xiaomi and Flipkart.