Car-for-hire startup Lyft is going back to investors for another round of funding. As earlier reported by the New York Times, the company is looking to raise another $250 million at a $2 billion valuation.
The funding comes nearly a year since Lyft’s last financing — a $250 million round from Coatue Management, Alibaba and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point, along with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Mayfield Ventures. To date, the company has raised more than $330 million since being founded as Zimride back in 2007.
Its new valuation would propel Lyft into the so-called “unicorn club” — i.e. into the realm of companies valued at more than a billion dollars.
That said, Lyft still lags behind market leader Uber in several key metrics, including funding raised, valuation and the number of markets in which it operates. In the year since Lyft’s last round of funding, Uber has raised more than $4 billion in equity and debt financing, and is now valued at $40 billion. Lyft also operates in 60 markets, all in the U.S., compared to the more than 250 cities where Uber is available.
With the new funding, Lyft seeks to gain new passengers in markets across the U.S. After updating its brand and shedding the giant furry mustaches that used to be attached to the grills of drivers’ cars, Lyft has been expanding its marketing budget and brought on former Trulia exec Kira Wampler as CMO.