Saudi Prince Alwaleed Invests Millions in Lyft

Saudi Prince Alwaleed
image: Lyft press kit

It took me some time to get why so many people like using Uber.

While I rarely take taxis, I’ve used Uber a bit from time to time. Using Uber has been convenient and the best part is the fact that there is no exchange of money at the end of the ride. I still find a big negative to be not knowing the cost of your ride until it is over and the car pulls away.

The last I read, Uber had a value in the $50-70 billion range. That definitely sounds insane.

What about other companies similar to Uber like Lyft? Lyft’s valuation is at $4.9 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The numbers are up thanks to a big investment by a company owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed announced that Kingdom Holding Co. is buying 2.3 percent of Lyft for $104.9 million. This is “part of a larger investment by an unnamed group of $247.7 million“, which comes to 5.3% of the company.

Since I’ve never used Lyft or read much about the service, I learned from the WSJ that the company only operates in the US. The article mentions that Lyft scaled back plans to have expanded overseas.

I found this quite interesting since Lyft has taken the investment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed as well as one from China’s largest ride-share provider, Didi Kualdi.

By taking on more investors and increasing the value of the company, it makes me wonder if Lyft is eventually planning an expansion into China, Saudi Arabia or other destinations around the world.

Have you used Lyft before? If so, how does it compare to Uber?

Find out more from the Wall Street Journal here.

2 thoughts on “Saudi Prince Alwaleed Invests Millions in Lyft

  1. I take Uber all the time and you can actually click on “Fare Estimate” if you use pickup and destination function. It is very accurate so you know before you ride.

    In addition, maybe the Prince knows something we don’t. But I read a report recently that Lyft is spending more money on driver incentives and promotions than on average earnings. My money is still on Uber and not Lyft. Positive for Lyft is they are driver friendly which Uber is not. That may be the advantage that Lyft needs if the drivers decide to just switch providers

  2. Ben K- Great points! I always do a fare estimate prior to requesting an Uber. While I’ve never used Lyft, I think you are right. Last weekend a very nice Uber driver told me how he was probably going to switch over to Lyft. Uber is taking 30% of his fare while Lyft is going to be taking 10%. Big difference there…

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