Lyft Secures $250M With Announces Plans To Expand Internationally.
The on-demand car service known as Lyft has announced that its managed to secure a $250 million Series D round of financing that was led by Coatue Management. The funding has been totaled to be even higher then there previous funding, and is close enough to its main competitor, Uber. last summer. The funding will be used to expand to both new domestic and international markets.
“We’re growing so quickly,” says Lyft cofounder John Zimmer, adding that the next step for the company is to build a “world-class brand.”
Ever since its launching of the peer-to-peer service nearly 18 months ago, Lyft has managed to become one of the most captivating players within the ride-sharing market. This services is part of the sharing economy, and allows anyone who owns a driver license and car to apply and become a driver for Lyft, if the vetting process is passed, they can earn money by ferrying passengers around cities that include Los Angeles and its own based city of San Francisco. Uber, which also based in the same location, offers a similar service with their UberX.
The two startups are currently competing for the market share in a series of locations, with Uber aggressively expanding the pace of competition in its race to beat Lyft. Uber has gone so far as to cut there own rates in order to attract even more passengers and offered a more lucrative promotions to drivers who are willing to switch over from Lyft. One advertisement found in New York City had guaranteed drivers $5,000 payment during their first month with Uber. Uber’s services are currently available in various locations around the world, such as Paris, Tokyo and Moscow.
With this new recent funding round, Zimmer has commented that Lyft will be able to compete with a stronger endurance, especially in the international market.
“A lot of the capital is used to spark markets–getting a certain critical mass of both drivers and passengers,” explains Zimmer, adding that the China-based Alibaba Group, which joined in the round, “will help us better access international markets.” Lyft is currently in 30 markets, and Zimmer says the service is surging in popularity in cities like Los Angeles and Nashville, even faster than it grew in San Francisco.
When asked to comment on the plans Lyft has in order to catch up to Uber, which has been running an aggressive campaign in gaining market shares, Zimmer said Lyft has been ”aggressive in our own ways,” but in the ways that remain”true to our values.”. Zimmer personally believes, the friendly nature of Lyft and its sharing economy-based model will continue to make it more unique form its rivals.
“Lyft is your friend with a car versus everyone’s private driver,” Zimmer says, reciting the taglines of the two brands. “We intend to make sure our model wins.”