Lyft could be moving toward IPO after receiving an estimated $1.5 billion in new investor funding and hiring Kristina Omari as vice president of corporate development and investor relations.
Omari has a long and storied career in tech, and she comes to Lyft after serving as Vice President of corporate development for Fitbit. She has had major positions at Adobe, Hewlett-Packard and Lehman Brothers. Omari also co-founded a nonprofit called BuildUp that focuses on helping under-represented tech entrepreneurs.
“She brings a proven track record of helping companies grow in a fast-paced environment,” Brian Roberts, Lyft’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. “Her skills and experience will help Lyft continue to expand.”
While Lyft is making strides in the ride-hailing industry, the company has only taken in $4.1 billion in venture funding and is valued at $11.5 billion, whereas Uber has eclipsed Lyft with $12.9 billion and is valued at $68 billion. Both companies have essentially made taxis obsolete and continue to push competitors aside.
Naturally, Lyft and Uber have become rivals. According to CNET, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has suggested that the company would move to a 2019 initial public offering in the next 18 to 36 months. Lyft, on the other hand, may plan to move quickly and have a 2018 IPO.
Sources close to the issue told The New York Times that it’s very likely. However, Lyft has declined to comment and they have stated that Omari’s hiring had nothing to do with the possible IPO.
“Lyft has had an amazing year,” Omari said in a statement. “I can’t wait to help the company continue delivering for passengers and drivers.”