It may have turned down an offer from General Motors, but that doesn’t mean Lyft isn’t in the market for a buyer. As per a report from the New York Times, the transportation giant has been relatively open to the notion of selling itself to a larger company, having faced numerous challenges including strict regulations, tough competition from Uber, and of course, the fact that it still hasl yet to turn a profit.
The San Francisco-based company is said to have “held talks or made approaches” to companies ranging from like Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber, and Didi Chuxing, anonymous sources told The Times. The same sources noted that GM never ultimately made a written offer to buy Lyft, and obviously, the startup has yet to find anyone to ease its burden — partially, perhaps, because the company wanted $9 billion for a buyout, sources told Recode.
Sure, the pink mustaches aren’t really in trouble for the time being. The firm is sitting on $1.4 billion cash, so there’s no real rush to find a new owner. That said, it’s clear that the struggle is real when it comes to operating a ridesharing business in an extremely crowded market. Even as Lyft continues to form new partnerships with companies like Volvo, and pursue new technologies like autonomous cars, differentiation has proven a tough nut to crack.
“One of the challenges for these companies is to figure out how to grow and sustain that latent demand for these businesses, but also to eventually become profitable,” Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Times. “Part of the challenge in evolving those services is just balancing out those factors. And that’s not an easy task.”
Shaheen added that not a single company could boast expertise in software, manufacturing, and ridesharing under a single roof, and concluded, “That’s where acquisition comes in.”