Uber’s US rival Lyft is expanding outside of its home market, taking the competition between the two companies into a new arena at a time when both ride-hailing companies are in separate fundraising talks.
After successfully stealing market share from Uber this year — Lyft now controls a quarter of the US market — the company will launch in Toronto before the holidays, it announced on Monday.
The news comes as Lyft is trying to close a $1bn fundraising round, led by Alphabet, that values the company at $10bn excluding new funds raised.
At the same time, a consortium led by Japanese technology group SoftBank is preparing to invest as much as $10bn in Uber through a complex deal that has been held up by disagreements on the board. The cash injection will take place in two tranches: one that will buy new shares in Uber at a valuation of about $68bn, and a second, larger tranche that will buy shares from existing shareholders at a lower price.
Although Lyft has long been the ride-hailing underdog, it has gained ground this year as Uber went through a series of crises, including the ousting of former chief executive Travis Kalanick.
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