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Saudi's Kingdom Holding among group investing US$247m in Lyft

[DUBAI] Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding , the investment firm of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said on Thursday it had led a group of investors which bought 5.3 per cent of US ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc for US$247.7 million.

Lyft, Uber Technologies Inc's biggest competitor in the United States, is looking to raise up to US$1 billion in a Series F funding round, according to filing provided by VC experts earlier this week.

Kingdom, Prince Alwaleed and other parties invested US$100 million in the Series F capital increase, with Kingdom taking a US$31 million share, the Saudi firm said in a bourse filing without naming the other investors.

In addition, Kingdom and Prince Alwaleed invested US$147.7 million to acquire preferred shares in Lyft in the secondary market. Kingdom's share of this invetment was US$73.9 million.

Kingdom, which now owns 2.3 per cent of Lyft on an as-converted basis, used existing available funds for the acquisition, it said.

Lyft, a privately held transportation network company based in San Francisco, makes a smartphone app that facilitates peer-to-peer ridesharing by connecting passengers who need a ride with drivers who have a car.

Kingdom and Alwaleed are major investors in US companies in the technology and other sectors; together they own more than 5 per cent of Twitter Inc.