Ride-Sharing App Lyft Gets A $US250 Million Investment Round Backed By Alibaba

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Lyft, the on-demand ride-sharing startup known for its pink mustaches and fist bumps, just raised a whopping $US250 million Series D round.

Existing investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Mayfield participated in this round. New investors Coatue, Third Point, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also joined the round.

“Lyft is a pioneer in connecting the online world with offline offerings (O2O) and has transformed transportation with its unique approach to ridesharing,” an Alibaba spokesperson told Business Insider via email. “We are excited to support the Lyft team as they continue to grow their community.”

But Lyft still has quite a long road ahead.

Last month, the city council in Chicago subpoenaed insurance records from ride-sharing firms like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. Meanwhile, over in Seattle, the city council recently approved legislation that would allow only 150 drivers from each ride-sharing app to be on the road at any one time.

To address some of these concerns, Lyft has recently been stepping up its insurance game. Last month, Lyft extended its collision coverage for drivers who already have it on their personal policies, and added coverage for injuries to drivers and passengers who get hit by uninsured or under-insured motorists. Lyft also recently announced that it would also roll out insurance coverage for drivers on duty even if they don’t have a passenger in the car.

Other than regulatory issues, Lyft is faced with competitors such as Uber, Sidecar, and GetTaxi.

Last August, Uber raised a hefty $US258 million from Google Ventures, Benchmark, and TPG Growth, bringing its total funding to $US307 million. At that time, Uber was valued at $US3.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Sidecar raised $US10 million from Union Square Ventures earlier this year. But out of all these car apps, Lyft has blown away the competition from a funding standpoint, with $332.5 million raised to date.

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