The ride-sharing company Lyft has managed to secure $500 million in funding, which will certainly help its ongoing competition with Uber. According to recent reports, the cab firm is currently valued somewhere between $6.9 billion and $7.5 billion, but this still pales in comparison to Uber's estimated $70 billion valuation.
Nonetheless, Lyft has done quite well to raise this money, as its value has skyrocketed from a mere $4.5 billion in January 2016. Crunchbase states that the most recent monetary gain is the ride-sharing company's eleventh raise, after it received an undisclosed amount in October last year.
Since 2008, Lyft raised an impressive sum of $2.5 billion in total funds. However, it's common knowledge that the cab app has been upping the stakes expansion-wise in an effort to compete with Uber.
Last month, the company announced that it had succeeded in its plans to expand into 100 new US cities nine months ahead of schedule. In January, it launched in 15 new cities, then followed up by adding 50 more the next month, which is certainly impressive. Furthermore, in Lawton, Oklahoma, and McAllen, Texas, Lyft succeeded in beating Uber to market this year.
That said, Uber is already a dominant presence in 560 cities globally, so Lyft has their work cut out for them. But there is a trump card at play: Uber has been riddled with scandals lately, and Lyft is taking full advantage of this. Lyft's president John Zimmer told Time magazine that his firm was "woke" to social injustice (unlike its bad boy competitor, eh?):
We're woke. Our community is woke, and the U.S. population is woke. There's an awakening … Our vote matters, our choice matters, the seat we take matters.
Zimmer then hilariously went on to describe Lyft as "a better boyfriend" in the revealing article.
Despite Lyft's ties with the Trump administration—one of the president's top advisers, Carl C. Icahn, invested heavily in the company—the fall of Uber has been highly publicized this year.
Scandal has plagued Uber CEO Travis Kalanick since December, when the company was forced to pull its San Francisco driverless pilot after California DMV pulled their registrations.
Claims of rampant sexism and "Game of Thrones" politics at Uber have been revealed, along with embarrassing glitches (and crashes!) with their driverless program.
Additionally, Lyft is well aware of the tide of public opinion in relation to Trump's executive immigration orders:
We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends. We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other - and together, continue proving the power of community.
This is unlike Kalanick, who was about to join an advisory panel for Trump, until of course the #DeleteUber movement happened and he backed out. His pledge to compensate Uber drivers stranded overseas as a result of the president's order seemed like too little, too late as a result.
Do you think Lyft's funding will help them to finally start catching up with Uber? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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