Fidelity owns a piece of Lyft in addition to Uber.
A large Uber shareholder has made an investment in chief U.S. rival Lyft, part of the latest twist in the entangled web of ride-sharing deals.
Lyft said on Tuesday that Fidelity, the giant mutual fund, would participate in an expanded financing round that now values the company at $11.5 billion. The round, led by Alphabet affiliate CapitalG, was previously only expected to collect $1 billion; it now stands to raise $1.5 billion.
Shareholders typically try to avoid conflicts of interest in their investments, but when it comes to Uber and Lyft it seems like all’s fair. Alphabet, for example, is also invested in both Uber and Lyft. Fidelity declined to comment.
Fidelity’s ownership position in Uber is almost certainly much larger than its position in Lyft — Fidelity led $1.2 billion Uber’s Series D financing round in 2014.
Notably, Fidelity was a key investor that helped oust Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick this summer.
Lyft and Uber are locked in a tightening battle for market share in the U.S. and are both stockpiling cash to win it. Lyft does not need the cash right now — but investments in frontier areas like autonomous vehicles demand a healthy war chest and Lyft is accepting the cash when it is on the table.
Uber is itself preparing to take on at least $1 billion in new investment from the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. SoftBank has threatened to also invest in Lyft if it is unable to close its Uber investment.
Axios earlier reported the expanded financing round.
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Author: Theodore Schleifer
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