Launched three years after Uber, Lyft was originally a long-distance car-pooling business, launched by Logan Green and John Zimmer. While Zimride, named after the transportation culture in Zimbabwe (the co-founder’s last name is a coincidence), was the largest app of its type, both co-founders quickly started looking for ways to improve daily engagement.
The solution was to begin offering shorter rides in cities, with passengers and drivers connecting. It wasn’t long before the Zimride service mimicked Uber, although Lyft originally tried to foster more of a friendly, non-commercial approach to the service.
Lyft expanded quickly in the US, from 60 cities in 201 to 300 in 2017, however, Uber was much quicker in its international expansion, planting its flag in almost every country that would allow it. This left Lyft in the shadow of Uber and unknown to anyone outside of the US.
It wasn’t until the Cancel Uber campaign that Lyft started eating into Uber’s marketshare in the US. Lyft went from 22 to 33 percent market share in the US from 2017 to 2018, although that growth has cooled off, with the company achieving 29 percent market share in 2020.
Lyft launched several initiatives that attempted to paint its service in a more positive light, as Uber was chastised for its employment model. This appears to have worked, as Lyft has molded itself as the scrappy underdog, winning over those who have had bad experiences with Uber.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Lyft was heavily impacted, with its ride-hailing businesses declining by 36 percent in the year and completing 80 percent less rides in April 2020 than the previous year. It has still not surpassed its peak quarterly revenue, which it reached in Q4 2019.
Unlike Uber, Lyft didn’t have anything to fall back on during that time, as Uber did with its food delivery business. It recently launched a subscription service, which provides riders with faster pickup, scheduling and assistance getting into the vehicle.
Similar to Uber, Lyft had a self-driving division and saw the future as one in which a human driver would no longer be necessary. However, it sold its division to Toyota in April 2021 for $550 million, citing the high costs of producing and testing self-driving vehicles.
We have collected data and statistics on Lyft. Read on below to find out more.
Lyft key statistics
- Lyft generated $3.2 billion revenue in 2021, a 35% percent increase year-on-year, but lower than the $3.61 billion made in 2019
- Lyft’s average revenue per active rider increased to $51.79 in 2021
- Lyft had 18.7 million active riders in 2021, a 49% increase on the previous year
|Title 1||Title 2|
|Launch date||9 June 2012|
|HQ||San Francisco, California|
|People||Logan Green (co-founder, CEO), John Zimmer (co-founder, president)|
|Business type||Public (NASDAQ: LYFT)|
Lyft generated $3.2 billion revenue in 2021, with strong revenue growth each quarter in the year after getting hit hard during the pandemic.
Lyft quarterly revenue 2017 to 2022 ($mm)
Lyft annual revenue 2017 to 2021 ($bn)
Source: Company data
Lyft has never reported an annual net profit, although losses have declined consecutively over the past two years.
Lyft annual net profit/loss 2017 to 2021 ($mm)
|Year||Net income/loss ($mm)|
Source: Company data
Lyft’s average revenue per active rider reached $51.79 in Q4 2021, a 14% increase on the previous year.
Lyft active rider ARPU 2017 to 2021
Note: This refers to APRU in the fourth quarter of each respective year. Source: Company data
Lyft had 18.7 million active riders in 2021, an increase on 2020, but still not as many as were riding in 2019.
Lyft quarterly users 2016 to 2022 (mm)
Lyft annual users 2016 to 2022 (mm)
Source: Company data
Lyft vs Uber market share
Want to learn more? Read our ride hailing sector profile
How many cities does Lyft operate in?
Lyft operates in 644 US and 12 Canadian cities or towns
What is Lyft’s market share?
Lyft’s market share in the US in 29 percent (Second Measure)
How many drivers work for Lyft?
Lyft has over two million drivers
What is the average annual wage for a Lyft driver?
Average Lyft driver average salary at $29,627 (Indeed)
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