Icahn Invests $100 Million in Lyft

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Carl Icahn Invests $100 Million in Lyft

Lyft Inc. raised an additional $150 million, led by an investment of $100 million from billionaire Carl Icahn, raising the stakes in the car-hailing service’s rivalry with Uber Technologies Inc.

The fundraising will help Lyft in a battle for market share with the much larger Uber. A Lyft presentation to investors that was obtained by Bloomberg News in April showed mounting costs for marketing the service. Lyft projects a 512 percent jump in net revenue this year to $796 million.

“With this additional investment, we remain focused on deepening our U.S. footprint,” Lyft President John Zimmer said in a statement Friday. As part of the investment, a managing director of Icahn Enterprises LP, Jonathan Christodoro, will join Lyft’s board.

The San Francisco-based company had a fourfold increase in active passengers on 2.2 million rides in December 2014 but growth was beginning to slow, the presentation for investors said. The document was prepared for a $530 million fundraising round announced in March that valued the company at about $2.5 billion.

Lyft’s other investors include Japan’s Rakuten, China’s Alibaba and the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.

Past Conflict

Icahn and Marc Andreessen sparred last year over strategy at EBay Inc., where the Web-browser pioneer was a director. Andreessen resigned from the EBay board in October.

In addition to providing a window into its business, Lyft had some choice words for its chief rival. The presentation describes Uber as a “top-down model,” with an “exclusive mentality” and “anti-social culture.”

Uber plans to raise $1.5 billion in a new funding round at a valuation at $50 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said May 9. The company is using cash to expand operations to cities across the globe and to fund acquisitions.

Icahn, known for activist campaigns that push publicly traded companies to boost shareholder returns, has invested in several technology companies -- from EBay to Apple Inc.