The company was launched in the year 2012 and develops and operates the Lyft car transportation mobile app.
John Zimmer and Green Logan both founded Lyft in 2012. Zimmer function as the President while Green is the CEO for Lyft.
Zimmer grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut . He graduated first in his class at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in 2006 where he was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity . He worked as an analyst in real estate finance at Lehman Brother in New York City .
Zimmer left Lehman Brothers three months before it filed for bankruptcy. In 2007, while Zimmer was working at Lehman Brothers, the duo founded Zimride, a ride sharing platform across college campuses.
Logan Green attended New Roads High School in Santa Monica , California . He graduated from UCSB in 2006 with a B.A. in Business Economics. While a student, Green created The Green Initiative Fund, served as a board member for the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District, and was the youngest director for the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District . Green was the Sustainability Director at UCSB from August 2007 -February 2008.
Riders must download the Lyft mobile app on either iOS or Android -based phone, sign up, enter a valid phone number, and enter a valid form of payment (either a credit card, or link to an Apple Pay ,Google Wallet or PayPal account ) .
Passengers can then request a ride from the closest driver. The app shows the driver’s profile, ratings by previous passengers he or she has engaged , and photos of the driver and car.
Drivers and passengers can add personal information to their profiles about their hometown, music preferences, and other details to encourage drivers and passengers to converse during the ride. After the ride is over, the rider is given the opportunity to give a tip to the driver, which is also billed to the rider’s payment method.
In May 2013, Lyft completed a US$60 million Series C venture financing round led by Andressen Horowitz and including Founders Fund, Mayfield Fund , K9 Ventures, and Floodgate Fund .
In July 2013, Lyft sold Zimride to Enterprise Holdings , the parent company of Enterprise Rent – A- Car, to enable the company to focus exclusively on the growth of Lyft.
In April 2014, Lyft completed another $250 million Series D financing round led by Coatue Management, Alibaba Group and Andreessen Horowitz , bringing its total amount raised to $332.5 million.
In March 2015, Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc led a group of investors to pump in about $530 million in Lyft.
In May 2015, the company received a $100 million in investment from Catl Icahn with an additional investment an additional $150 million in investment, based on a valuation of $2.5 billion, which brought the total raised to over $1 billion.
On January 4, 2016, U.S ,General Motors invested $500 million to Lyft as part of a $1 Billion fund raising effort.This partnership will help both companies develop in the ride-sharing market as well as the autonomous car landscape.
In conjunction with GM’s investment,
also made an investment in Lyft which included the purchase of $148 million worth of stocks from Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund.
In April 2017, Lyft secured $600 million in funding from KKR at a $7.5 billion post-money valuation.
In October 2017, Alphabet Inc. took a $1 billion stake in Lyft via their investment arm, CapitalG .
On December 2017 another $500 million investment was secured by Lyft with participation from Fidelity Management & Research Company as well as the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund.
On June 2018, Lyft announced that it has raised an additional $600 million majorly from current investors, valuing the company at $15.1 billion.
In April 2014, Lyft launched in 24 new U.S. cities in 24 hours, bringing its total to 60 U.S. cities.
In August 2014, the company introduced Lyft Line, allowing passengers to split fare on shared rides.
Due to regulatory hurdles in New York City, the company decided to significantly alter its business model to establish Lyft on the East Coast.
Lyft’s operation New York City occurred on the evening of July 25, 2014 and, in accordance with the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and the approval of the Manhattan Supreme Court, that only drivers registered with the TLC were allowed to drive Lyft-branded vehicles in New York City.
As a brand, Lyft became known for the large pink furry mustaches drivers attached to the front of their cars.
On June 6, 2017, Lyft announced a new partnership with Boston-based autonomous self-driving car start-up Autonomy with the aim of eventually putting thousands of autonomous, on-demand vehicles on the road.
In May 2016, Lyft began offering a service to let clients schedule rides up to 24-hours in advance. In the summer of 2016, Lyft started offering riders the ability to make multiple stops during a trip.
In January 2017, Lyft announced it would add 100 U.S. cities, bringing its total to 300 U.S. cities served.
In July 2017, the company announced that the forthcoming Walt Disney World Resort “Minnie Van” service will be powered by Lyft.
Lyft currently operates in about 300 U.S. cities,including New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and recently launched in some part of Canada. It provides over 1 million rides per day.
In September 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to make the agreement permanent, and created a new category of service called Transportation Network Companies , making California the first state to recognize and regulate such services.
The Seattle City Council passed an ordinance in March 2014 that capped Lyft drivers on the road at any given time to 150. This pronouncement by the City Council failed to function with Lyft’s business model, the company supported a coalition that submitted a referendum containing 36,000 signatures from residents that called for the ordinance to be appealed.
Following the signatures, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray worked with Lyft team to reach a deal in July 2014 that legalized ridesharing in Seattle.
In September 2015, Lyft announced a relocation of their customer service operations to Nashville and mentioned that a full relocation would be possible in the future from San Francisco.
In December 2015, Lyft became the first ride-hailing service allowed to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.
In July,2018 , Lyft suspended a driver following a report that he live-streamed passengers without their expressed consent.
The driver filmed and live streamed his passengers and their interactions with him on Twitch, a service commonly used to stream video games.
According to Alexandra LaManna, a spokesperson for Lyft, said, “The safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver.”
In August 2018 , The New York City Council voted on a group of bills related to ride-hailing, one of which pauses the issuances of new licenses for vehicles that operate for-hire.
That means that Lyft and other companies won’t be able to expand with new cars in the city, because—unlike in other cities where they operate—those vehicles must be licensed by New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC).
Following the new law, the TLC will not grant new for-hire vehicle licenses for 12 months, and will study the effects of that pause on the Industry.
However, Residents in New York say thats services like Lyft play an important role in supporting people—particularly people of color—get where they need to go. Meanwhile, Supporters of the legislation say that it’s geared toward reducing traffic congestion and improving life.
In an era that’s seen a huge rise of companies that let passengers travel via app, the new legislation is an experiment worth following closely. This is what its opponents, and proponents, say about the move.
Lyft and General Motors announced that as part of their partnership, that they planned to commence testing self-driving cars within the next year. They were considering using a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt for this purpose by 2017 .
In March 2018, Lyft announced a partnership with the autonomous vehicle testing site GoMentum Station to test its self-driving technology, supporting the company’s efforts toward making transportation safer and more available to everyone.
On March 14, 2018, Lyft partnered with the largest auto part suppliers in North America, Magna with the motive both finance and make autonomous vehicle systems which will help to support self-driving technology that will be available to all auto dealers.