Lyft raised another $600m in a Series I round this week. That’s ‘I’ as in “ice cream,” and after a year of aggressive expansion, the company deserves a treat — in the past 14 months, Lyft’s value has more than doubled to $15.1B.
This breakout year shows the ride-sharing battle isn’t won yet — and highlights the strategic differences between Lyft and their embattled rival.
“Uber’s scandal has arrived. You have 2 min. to take advantage”
Lyft (circa 2012) has played catch-up with rapidly expanding Uber (circa 2009) from the start. But while Uber’s ‘ask-for-forgiveness-not-permission’ approach enabled rapid growth — it also caused expensive municipal bans and employee turnover.
Those problems created a brief window of opportunity for Lyft to grow and Lyft jumped at it — investing in product development and a trust-focused ad campaign.
Lyft is taking a different route
Even after doubling in size, Lyft’s market cap ($15.1B) is a far cry from Uber’s ($72B). But Lyft didn’t want to surpass Uber right away, it wanted to plant its feet for the fight ahead — and it did.
At the close of 2016, Lyft’s US market share was just 15.9%, but last month the company announced it had hit 35% market share. In Q4 2017, Lyft’s revenue grew 168% year over year (almost 3x faster than Uber at 61%).