Here's who's getting rich from Lyft's enormous IPO

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesLyft CEO and cofounder Logan Green.
  • Lyft’s anticipated multibillion IPO is a go, and it’s now trading on the public markets.
  • The company priced its shares at $US72 to the institutional investors who subscribed to its stock offering.
  • Shares immediately zoomed up to around $US85 right at the start of trading, a pop of some 21%.
  • These are the people and companies that hold enormous chunks of Lyft stock, and who just got that much richer.

Lyft is now a public company worth about $US29 billion.

Thanks to the S-1 paperwork for Lyft’s IPO, the public can see who the major shareholders are and how many shares they own. These are the executives and venture investors who will reap a huge financial windfall if Lyft’s stock performs well.

Those earlier investors cannot sell their shares for at least 180 days, known as the “lock-up” period. This is to avoid flooding the market with more shares than investors want to buy and driving the share price down. So, we don’t know exactly how much this IPO will enrich each one of the early investors, as we don’t know what the share price will be when their lock-up period expires.

But we can calculate the value of their shares on day 1. The stock opened for trading on Friday at $US87.24, up some 21% from its listing price of $US72. Trading volume is heavy and the price is changing every second – at the time of writing, it had dipped to about $US83. For simplicity’s sake, we’re using the $US83 figure here.

Only Class A shares are being sold to the public. Class B shares, which carry more voting power, are being split between Lyft’s co-founders, Logan Green (who will own just over 60%) and John Zimmer (who owns just under 40%). So, even though they hold relatively small stakes of the public Class A shares, they will control nearly one-third, and nearly one-fifth of the total shareholder votes respectively.

If either of them were to sell their Class B shares (except in certain cases, like putting them in trust to a non-profit), they would convert to Class A shares, Lyft says in its documents. Therefore, for the sake of this estimate, we have calculated the value of the Class B shares as if they were Class A.

Here are all the people with sizeable stakes in the ride-hailing company:

Logan Green, cofounder and CEO: $US695 million

Green and cofounder John Zimmer began their collaboration in 2007 with a service called Zimride that helped people find carpools via Facebook.

In 2012, they launched a ride-sharing service that used a mobile app called Lyft. It took off from there.

After the IPO Green will own 684,591 of Class A shares and 7,689,182 of Class B shares. At $US83/share, this stake will be worth over $US695 million.

John Zimmer, cofounder and president: $US479 million

John Sciulli/Getty Images for Lyft

Zimmer spent a lot of time in college finding carpoolers to share his ride as he regularly drove from Cornell in upstate New York to New York City. He was introduced to Green over Facebook by a mutual friend. A week after they met, they were working on Zimride together, or so the story goes.

After the IPO, Zimmer will own 684,591 of Class A stock and 5,090,527 shares of Class B stock, worth over $US479 million at $US83 per share.

Sean Aggarwal: $US117 million


Sean Aggarwal is probably best known in Silicon Valley for his roles as the vice president of finance for eBay, PayPal, and Trulia. But he was an early angel investor and adviser for Lyft (joining the board in 2016).

And he’s the Lyft executive with the largest Class A individual stake in the company, with just under 1.41 million shares, worth nearly $US117 million.

Hiroshi Mikitani for Rakuten: $US2.6 billion

Michael Seto

The Japan-based e-commerce powerhouse Rakuten poured $US300 million into Lyft in 2015 as part of a broader, $US530 million financing round, and Rakuten’s founder and CEO joined the board.

Rakuten also bought more shares in subsequent rounds, making it the single largest shareholder of the company.

Rakuten owns nearly 31.4 million shares, or 13% of the company, which are managed by its founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. At $US83 each, this stake is worth over $US2.6 billion.

General Motors and Fidelity: $US1.6 billion and $US1.5 billion, respectively.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors and Fidelity each own nearly 19 million shares in Lyft, almost 8% of the company each.

The mutual-fund giant Fidelity often invests in late-stage unicorn startups, but GM’s buy-in is more interesting.

In 2016, GM was rumoured to have tried to buy Lyft outright for between $US4.5 billion and $US6 billion, but Lyft turned the offer down.

So GM invested. The two were supposed to have struck up a strategic partnership over self-driving cars. But Lyft has also taken investment from GM rivals, such as Ford, though not at the same level.

At $US83, GM’s stake is worth nearly $US1.6 billion; Fidelity’s, just over $US1.5 billion.

Ben Horowitz for Andreessen Horowitz: $US1.3 billion

C Flanigan/Getty Images

Andreessen Horowitz was a fairly early investor in Lyft, joining the company’s series C funding round of $US60 million in 2013.

The venture-capital firm then kept buying more shares in each subsequent round, gradually amassing a substantial chunk of the company.

Andreessen Horowitz now owns more than 15 million shares, or 6.25% of the company, which are overseen by the firm’s partner Ben Horowitz and worth nearly $US1.3 billion at $US83 a share.

David Lawee for CapitalG: $US1 billion

Getty / Paul Zimmerman

David Lawee, who previously did mergers and acquisitions for Google, is the big-cheese partner for CapitalG, the growth-stage investment arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

He led a massive $US1 billion round for Lyft in 2017 for CapitalG, just a few months after Lyft’s previous $US600 million raise.

The investment was widely interpreted as Google’s effort to switch horses in the ride-hailing race. Google had, years earlier, invested in Uber, but Google and Uber had locked horns competing over self-driving cars.

Twenty-five other investors piled in, bringing the total raised in the round to $US1.7 billion.

CapitalG has nearly 12.6 million shares of Lyft, or a 5.23% stake, which are worth over $US1 billion at $US83/share.

Jon McNeill, chief operating officer: $US61 million


John McNeill left his job at Tesla as the head of global sales and marketing a year ago – as the electric-car maker was scrambling to produce its Model 3 – and joined Lyft as its chief operating officer.

McNeill has 736,932 shares of Lyft, which are now worth over $US61 million at $US83/share. According to the filing, the value of his total compensation package in 2018, including a $US419,000 salary and stock awards, was $US32.4 million.

Ran Makavy, chief product officer: $US27 million


Ran Makavy joined Lyft in 2016 after a four-year stint at Facebook, according to his LinkedIn profile. He started as vice president of growth and has since moved up to the positions of executive vice president and chief product officer.

His 326,250 shares of Class A stock in Lyft are worth over $US27 million at $US83/share. Makavy is also listed among the company’s executives with the highest compensation, which included a salary of roughly $US393,000 in 2018.

Jonathan Christodoro for Icahn Enterprises: $US1 million

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York TimesCarl Icahn

Icahn Enterprises is the investment company best known for its activist billionaire investor leader, Carl Icahn. It bought into Lyft as part of the round led by Rakuten, and Jonathan Christodoro, Icahn Enterprises’ managing director, joined the board.

The company’s stake consists of 12,856 Class A shares, according to the S-1, which are worth just over a $US1 million at $US83/share.

Valerie Jarrett: $US418,635

A former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett joined Lyft’s board of directors in July 2017. She has 6,645 shares, according to the S-1. These are worth $US418,635 at $US83/share.

Navin Chaddha for Mayfield Fund

Mayfield Fund

Mayfield Fund has been investing in Lyft since its series A funding round, when it was still Zimride. In fact, the venture capitalist that led that round, Raj Kapoor, eventually joined the company as the chief strategy officer.

Mayfield also joined the series B and D rounds, managed by the partner Navin Chaddha. Lyft has not disclosed how big the stake is, meaning Mayfield owns less than 5%.

Over 100 others

Lyft raised nearly $US5 billion in its life as a startup from over 115 investors. Most of them remain active investors, according to the online database Pitchbook, which is the keeper of such records (most of these people and companies are not listed in Lyft’s S-1).

Other investors include:

  • The Chinese rideshare company Didi Chuxing.
  • Floodgate Fund’s Ann Miura-Ko, who invested in several early rounds. Floodgate owns more than 1.5 million shares.
  • The Saudi Kingdom Holding Co., founded by the nation’s wealthiest investor, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal (who was arrested and later released by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman).
  • Angel investments from David Sacks of Yammer and Zenefits fame, Troy Carter of Lady Gaga fame, and others.

Lyft has not disclosed the stakes of any of these other investors, meaning they own less than 5% of the company.

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