Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gestures during a press conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on July 1, 2015.
FAYEZ NURELDINE—Getty Images
By Reuters
December 24, 2015

(Reuters) – 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% of U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft for $247.7 million.

Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor in the United States, is looking to raise up to $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 $100 million in the Series F capital increase, with Kingdom taking a $31 million share, the Saudi firm said in a bourse filing without naming the other investors.

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

Kingdom, which now owns 2.3% 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 U.S. companies in the technology and other sectors; together they own more than 5% of Twitter (TWTR).

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