Home / Tech / Lyft moved its San Francisco roadshow meeting at the last minute because of protesting drivers (LYFT)

Lyft moved its San Francisco roadshow meeting at the last minute because of protesting drivers (LYFT)

Lyft roadshow IPO protests

  • Lyft’s founders are set to pitch West Coast investors this week as part of the company’s IPO roadshow. 
  • Protesters mobbed the Omni Hotel in San Francisco ahead of the scheduled meeting there, while black cars circled and honked on the street. 
  • The meeting was moved to the Olympic Club, about a 15-minute walk from the originally planned location. 

Lyft executives and bankers headed to the West Coast this week to court investors as part of the ride-hailing company’s IPO road show.

After a packed meeting last week at New York City’s opulent St. Regis Hotel, founders Logan Green and John Zimmer were due to be met with lines of picketers outside San Francisco’s Omni Hotel, in the heart of the city’s financial district. However, it’s not clear if the executives ever arrived at the original location. 

Lyft IPO protests San Francisco“Lyft, Lyft you’re no good, treat your drivers like you should,” protesters chanted on the sidewalks of California Street, directly across from Goldman Sachs’ San Francisco office. 

“Tell me what you really want! Justice!” the call-and-response chants droned while hoards of black cars circled and honked outside. 

See also: Inside the Lyft roadshow in NYC where investors packed the penthouse of a $1,000-a-night hotel

One hotel doorman said that he was getting nervous as light rain started to fall outside. 

By 12 pm, it wasn’t clear if the scheduled meeting would still occur. Hotel staff could not confirm when or where the meeting was taking place. Some investors who arrived at the hotel could be seen leaving soon after. 

Eventually, the meeting was moved to the Olympic Club on Post Street, about a 15-minute walk from the original Omni location. The exclusive club doesn’t post membership requirements or details online, though some reports peg the cost at upwards of $10,000 per year on top of an even larger initiation fee. 

Omni Hotel SF Lyft protestsThe meeting protests in San Francisco coincided with similar actions by drivers in Los Angeles, who are striking Monday in opposition to what they say are consistent pay cuts by Lyft’s larger ride-hailing rival.

Lyft has touted its more driver friendly approach for years, but as it seeks to shore up its balance sheet and compete with Uber, that reputation has begun to sour. In New York, easily the nation’s largest ride-hailing market, the company filed a lawsuit to overturn new rules that set a minimum wage for all app-based drivers.

The company maintained its beef with regulators was about how the pay was calculated — through a complex “utilization rate” — and not over the principal of paying drivers. Still, the suit angered plenty of drivers and organizing groups.

After San Francisco, Lyft will head to Los Angeles and the Midwest — including Chicago and Kansas City — ahead of the offering’s expected pricing on Thursday. 

 

SEE ALSO: Inside the Lyft roadshow in NYC where investors packed the penthouse of a $1,000-a-night hotel

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