News: Qatalyst acted as LinkedIn’s financial adviser in Microsoft’s recent agreement to buy LinkedIn for $26.2bn.
Ride hailing service Lyft has reportedly hired technology-focused boutique investment bank Qatalyst Partners to explore deal options.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Qatalyst Chairman Frank Quattrone has contacted companies including large automakers about buying a stake in Lyft.
There is no additional information on whether Lyft is planning to sell or raise new funding.
Earlier this year, Lyft closed a $1bn funding round that valued it at $5.5bn and included a $500m commitment from General Motors.
Lyft has been investing millions of dollars to attract as many as customers and compete with the likes of Uber.
The investments include free discount giveaways, $50 Lyft ride vouchers and also giant billboards at prominent places and bus stops.
US-based Lyft is not just expanding in North America, it is also expanding in Asia where Uber is trying to establish itself.
In China, Lyft collaborated with Didi Kuaidi to capture the Chinese market.
Lyft’s hiring of Qatalyst Partners may suggest that the company is open to a sale. The bank acted as LinkedIn’s financial adviser in Microsoft’s recent agreement to buy LinkedIn for $26.2bn.
The WSJ reported that one possible buyer could be General Motors, which paid $500m for a 10% stake in Lyft and is of the view that the ride-hailing service could play an important role to the future of automobiles.
The companies have agreed to develop a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles that will use the self driving technology created by GM and Lyft’s broad choice of ride-sharing services.
Lyft has also opened up its application program interface to build on its platform, beginning with Facebook messenger.