Uber under threat as rival Lyft secures $600m in funding, now worth $7.5bn

12 Apr 2017

Lyft logo. Image: BestStockFoto/Shutterstock

With Uber constantly making unsavoury headlines, its biggest rival Lyft is being elevated, having now secured $600m in funding.

Known for its distinctive ‘glowstache’ found on its drivers’ dashboards, Lyft has had to play second fiddle to Uber, its major rival in the ride-hailing app stakes.

Over the past few weeks, however, Uber has found itself in the news time and time again for all the wrong reasons, and now investors are shifting gears over to Lyft.

In a blog post, Lyft confirmed that it has raised close to $600m in new funding, putting its valuation at $7.5bn. This follows on from the company’s massive funding announcement made in January of last year, which totalled $2bn.

Lyft still finds itself trailing behind Uber, though, which was last valued in 2016 at $68bn.

Leading the recent funding for Lyft are previous partners including Rakuten and Janus Capital, along with new investors such as AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

Major expansion underway

“We are continuing to focus on the people behind our business, making sure to take care of our drivers, passengers and team members,” Lyft said.

“We have big plans on the horizon, and will continue investing in new technology and hospitality in order to create experiences that passengers and drivers will love.”

While not as visible as Uber, Lyft underwent massive expansion in 2017, opening in 100 new cities and bringing its total number of operating cities to 300.

This has seen its number of rides completed more than double on the same time last year to 70.4m rides.

In other good news for Lyft, a recent YouGov poll in the US has found that following the many Uber controversies, more people are likely to consider hailing a Lyft instead.

According to Quartz, the same poll initially found that only 5.6pc of people would hail a Lyft first, but this has since risen to 9.6pc.

Lyft logo. Image: BestStockFoto/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic