Lyft is an on-demand ride sharing platform for friendly and affordable rides. Drivers are matched with passengers who request rides through the Lyft iPhone or Android app. Passengers don’t need to pay in person as the transaction is automated through the app. Drivers can earn income on something they already own: their car.
The emerging Sharing Economy is disrupting traditional industries, Taxis in this case, and leading platforms are providing a better solution and experience to the customer. Lyft is on the forefront of the ride sharing trend and is creating its own cultural trend among the younger generation.
Co-founders Logan Green (CEO) and John Zimmer (President) founded Zimride in 2007 and then launched Lyft in 2012. Logan graduated from UCSB where he created the first car-share program and also studied in Zimbabwe where he first came up with the idea for Zimride. John graduated #1 in his class at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and worked for two years at Lehman Brothers. Both have been recognized by Business Week as Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25.
Scott Weiss (Andreessen Horowitz)
Lyft provides users an affordable and fun option to get around cities. Lyft drivers are part of a new cultural trend with high emphasis on customer satisfaction. Lyft rides are cheaper compared to Taxi and Uber rides, on average. Passengers request a ride through the Lyft app, a nearby Lyft driver picks up the passenger within minutes, and the payment happens automatically via the app when the ride is completed.
Lyft can become a major urban transportation platform as it is relatively cheap, efficient, and very user friendly. Lyft is also attractive to drivers as it offers an additional income stream from their car. Lyft has the potential to expand globally and to add value and efficiency to traffic problems in major cities.
Internet; Sharing Economy; Globalization
The U.S. taxi industry was $10.9 billion in 2013, with the ride sharing industry totaling $3 billion (Piper Jaffray report). The global Taxi industry is estimated to be a multiple of the U.S., and we believe Lyft has the potential to capture a significant portion of the global ride-sharing industry in the long term and to become a multi-billion revenue business.
Lyft is experiencing strong growth across most of its key metrics as it provides a better experience compared to Taxi rides and is quickly expanding throughout the U.S.
Authorities might create laws to protect the Taxi industry which will slow Lyft’s growth. Competition from Uber and specifically UberX could take market share away from Lyft. Cash burn and financing needs are additional risks.
GSVC percentage figures are based upon the fair value of each holding as of the quarter ended September 30, 2016, or the cost basis of the holding (exclusive of transaction costs) if the investment closed subsequent to September 30, 2016. In either case, these values are divided by the fair value of total portfolio investments of GSV Capital as of September 30, 2016.