Lyft gears up for international expansion on anniversary
$60 million in new funding will support the goal
IDG News Service - Lyft, the ridesharing service known for its fleet of pink mustache-festooned cars, is eyeing international expansion supported by its biggest funding round yet.
The company will be looking at entering new markets, including overseas, between now and the end of 2014, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said Wednesday.
Specific countries of interest were not named. Lyft currently operates its cars in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.
Zimmer's remarks were made on the eve of Lyft's first anniversary, and its official announcement of having secured a new round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz. The amount of funding, Lyft's largest yet, was US$60 million, Zimmer said.
Lyft has raised about $83 million in total in funding since it was founded.
"We're still focused on the same vision to build a more affordable and efficient transportation system," Zimmer said. The company's ability to expand all over the world is now easier with the resources to do it, he added.
Lyft works via a mobile app that allows people to secure rides from drivers who are not required to have commercial insurance or licences. To become a driver for Lyft, applicants must be at least 23 years old and must pass a phone screen, an in-person meeting and background and Department of Motor Vehicles record checks, according to Lyft's website.
The way Lyft works is similar to its rival Sidecar, which also lets non-commercially licensed people sign up to give rides, which are requested through a mobile app.
Uber, meanwhile, offers a black car service that relies primarily on partnerships with commercially licensed transportation providers. But the company has stated recently that it is interested in moving more into the social ridesharing space occupied by Lyft and Sidecar.
Lyft's new funding could help in facilitating an improved ability to compete against Sidecar and possibly Uber, but ultimately what it does is "enhanc[e] the Lyft experience within our current communities and lets us grow into new communities," Zimmer said.
No other details about new Lyft app features or programs were revealed.
The company has "hundreds" of drivers in its ranks and has provided "hundreds of thousands of rides" to its users at an average clip of over 30,000 rides a week, Zimmer said.
Regulatory challenges are Lyft's biggest hurdles to growth, Zimmer said. In California, for instance, the state's Public Utilities Commission opened a proceeding last December to evaluate the safety of ridesharing businesses that employ the Internet, social media and location services to arrange transportation of passengers over public highways for compensation.
- Social Media Education: The New Edge for Success Failure to train for social media will cost your business money. A recent report showed how digitally prepared companies can unlock up to...
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!