Ride-hailing app service company, Lyft Inc. has reported that it hired a boutique investment bank, Qatalyst Partners LP that is known to help high tech companies seek acquisitions.
Qatalyst founder and Chairman, Frank Quatrrone has been reaching out to large automakers and others about investing in Lyft, according to the Wall Street, while it is still unclear if Lyft is also looking to sell itself or just raise new funding’s. So far, Lyft has no problem raising a new source of funding - in total, it’s raised more than $2 billion from investors ranging from Carl Icahn and General Motors to Andreessen Horowitz and Rakuten.
The most potential buyer for Lyft is General Motors, which has already invested $500 million for a 10% stake in Lyft earlier this year in January and indicated that the ride-hailing service could be crucial to the future of automobiles. The two companies have since agreed to develop self-driving cars and to offer deals on rental cars to Lyft drivers. If GM doesn’t buy Lyft, there are also some potential buyers overseas, such as Didi Chuxing, Softbank, Alibaba, or Rakuten.
Lyft, the largest U.S. rival to Uber Technologies Inc., has also partnered with Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s Grab, in order to trying to keeping up with its larger competitor as both companies burn through capital to expand their ride-hailing services. Lyft was last valued at $5.5 billion by investors.
Prior to this report, Lyft hadn’t indicated if it wanted to sell itself. When asked about competing with Uber earlier this year, Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said, “Eight out of 10 drivers prefer driving for Lyft. We’ll keep delivering our message. We’ll keep talking about how we want to push forward the future of transportation in a people-centric way, and the narrative has already changed dramatically in the past year, and will continue to change as we continue to tell our story.”