The Ride of Your Life

By Matthew Milner, on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ever heard of Marc Andreessen?

He’s the genius who created the Internet’s first web browser…

He sits on the boards of Facebook, eBay, and HP…

And he has a track record of successfully building and investing in technologies that have changed our world—technologies like Netscape, Skype, and Twitter.

Essentially, Marc’s a proven expert in identifying the most promising (and profitable) early-stage technology companies.

And now, if you’d like, you can become his business partner.

Meet Marc

Andreessen grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, but he seems better suited to Silicon Valley than the farms of his youth:

After his success with Netscape (it went public, and was then acquired by AOL for $4.2 billion), he started a web hosting company called LoudCloud.

LoudCloud went public, too, and was ultimately acquired for more than $2 billion.

After seeing firsthand how an early-stage company could change his life—and his net worth—Andreessen decided that instead of owning a stake in a single company, he’d like to own stakes in dozens of them.

So six years ago, he launched his own venture capital firm, and it quickly became one of the top venture firms in the world.

Currently, it’s earning 50% annual returns—meaning, the value of its investments is doubling every two years.

With that level of success, Andreessen has clearly had a lot of “winners.”

One of the biggest is in a company called Lyft…

A Ride-Sharing Company

Lyft is like a taxi company, but with a unique twist:

It connects passengers like you with drivers who use their personal vehicles.

To request a ride, you fire up your mobile phone, open the Lyft app, and electronically “hail” a driver. A car will pick you up in minutes.

And not only is it fast, but since Lyft doesn’t have the overheard of a traditional taxi company, it costs less than a typical cab ride.

This concept might sound familiar: a similar start-up called Uber has been getting lots of attention lately:

Uber hasn’t even gone public yet—it’s still a private company—but just two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that it’s already worth $50 billion.

The Stats

Lyft is considerably smaller than Uber, but it’s working hard to catch up.

The company operates in 61 cities and 29 states—about half as many as Uber.

To date, it’s hosted over 1 million rides, and it’s growing at 500% per year.

According to Lyft, its 2015 gross revenue will surpass $1 billion, and after it splits fees with its drivers, its net revenue will hit $300 million. The company expects to be profitable by next year.

These are impressive numbers for a young company.

So despite the fact that Uber may be the current market leader, many believe there’s plenty of room for both companies to succeed.

Just ask Marc…

Give Your Portfolio a “Lyft”

Andreessen has a big vision for Lyft, and a belief that the company will succeed.

And with his $60 million investment, he’s put his money where his mouth is.

Given his track record, he’s tough to bet against.

But why bet against him when you can join him?

Thanks to equity crowdfunding—where investors like you make small investments into private start-ups in exchange for an ownership stake—you can invest in Lyft alongside Marc.

Shares of Lyft are being offered on an equity crowdfunding website called Waverly.

You’d be investing at the same $2.5 billion valuation as the professional investors who backed Lyft during a recent funding round.

To put that number in perspective, remember that Uber is currently valued at $50 billion—that’s 20 times higher than Lyft’s valuation.

But here’s the thing: Uber’s revenue isn’t 20 times higher. It’s only about six times larger—which, to some folks, makes Lyft look like a relative bargain.

But before you get too excited, let’s take a look at the risks…

”Winner Take All”?

Certainly, Uber is a legitimate threat:

It has a bigger footprint than Lyft, and a more mainstream brand.

It also has far more money in the bank—which means it can afford to hire more drivers, offer more discounts, and do more marketing.

If this were a “winner take all” market, we’d tell you to run for the hills.

But we don’t think it’s a “winner take all” market…

Instead, we think it’s a “winner take most” market—where Uber will win the majority of this market, but Lyft will still become a big business.

Given the size of this market—and the backing and “golden touch” of Andreessen—Lyft could one day be acquired by a traditional transportation company, or even go public.

Exciting Times

If you’re interested in exploring the Lyft deal, you can register for free on Waverly and review the details here >>

At the moment, according to SEC regulations, you need to be an “accredited” investor in order to invest in Lyft (or in any private deal). That means you need to have a $1 million net worth, or earn at least $200,000 in annual income.

But if you’re not accredited, don’t worry…

Due to a new set of laws called “The JOBS Act,” in just a few months, all investors will be able to get into deals like Uber and Lyft.

These are exciting times:

The barriers to investing in the world’s most interesting, fastest-growing companies are being removed.

In fact, the concept that regular investors like you have the opportunity to get into the same private deals as professional investors like Marc Andreessen—at the same time and on the same terms—is mind-blowing.

It’s why Wayne and I decided to start a business covering this emerging sector—and it’s why we’re so excited to help investors like you profit from it.

Best Regards,
Matthew Milner
Matthew Milner


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Tags: Lyft Uber The Jobs Act Marc Andreessen Andreessen Horowitz

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