Lyft supporters gather at a City Hall rally in February.
Lyft supporters gather at a Seattle City Hall rally in February.

Lyft may be battling city governments for the right to conduct business, but that isn’t stopping investors from putting millions of dollars behind the app-based transportation company.

Today Lyft announced a $250 million Series D round, which brings total funding for the company up to $333 million. The latest round comes from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Mayfield, and also includes new investors Coatue — which is leading the round — Alibaba and Third Point.

The Series D round was originally reported earlier this month to be $150 million, with Lyft issuing 14,804,726 shares at a price of $10.1319 per share. But the actual round ended up being $100 million more and signifies some serious investor confidence in the San Francisco-based company.

The big round will help Lyft compete with arch-rival Uber, which brought in $258 million this past August and has raised $307 million in total.

Lyft, which launched in 2007 as Zimride, notes that the new money will help the company “grow domestically and expand internationally to fulfill the demand for this new form of community-powered transportation.”

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer.
Lyft co-founder John Zimmer.

The fresh funds come as Lyft is trying to work with city leaders in several of the 30 cities it currently operates in over the legality of its service, which lets everyday drivers shuttle people around town in their cars. The conversation has been heated in Seattle, where the City Council recently voted to place a limit on the number of active vehicles a company like Lyft can have on the road at one time.

Lyft expressed disappointment with that decision, vowing to fight City Council and help its customers “defend their right to Lyft.” The company, along with Uber and Sidecar, is also supporting a new coalition that’s trying to collect enough signatures in order to protest the City Council’s new ordinance.

Despite its disdain for the new legislation, Lyft also recently announced plans to expand its service across the greater Seattle area. It also ditched its donation-based payment system in the city and has moved to mandatory pricing requirements. And after several concerns about its insurance policies, the company last month announced plans to beef up its coverage.

[Related: Here’s what happened when my family got hit while riding in a Lyft]

In a statement posted today, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer shared a few examples of drivers and passengers who have redefined “the true meaning of community.”

“In just the past week, a driver and passenger decided to team up on a social good project supporting musicians in Kenya,” he wrote. “Another driver who witnessed an elderly woman having car trouble dropped everything to help her get home, while a group of passengers in Los Angeles invited their Lyft driver to lunch after their ride.”

Lyft, known for the pink mustaches that its drivers must place on their front bumpers, has always put heavy emphasis on community — one way it differentiates itself from competitors like Uber and Sidecar.

Comments

  • Skeptic

    Hmm…$250M investment with a valuation around a billion. I completely understand now why Lyft and their fellow newfangled taxi companies are scared of competing on an equal footing with the “rich” local taxi companies. Lyft’s investors are gambling that Lyft will be worth $10B and the only way to get there is to crush all existing taxi companies, avoid paying any licenses, taxes, or regulatory fees, and, while they’re at it, how about screwing the endless supply of naive drivers? Which slide of their investment deck said “break the law until we get caught, then whine about it”? And why are the VC firms looking the other way? Shame on them.

  • jamz111

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