Lyft gears up for international expansion on anniversary

$60 million in new funding will support the goal

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.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Ubermobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesSideCarLyftmobileinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?