The pink mustache on the front of the car is the giveaway. Lyft isn’t like a regular taxi company. In fact, Lyft will tell you it’s not a taxi company at all. Instead, the company markets itself as a way to share rides: regular people with their own cars making their empty seats available to strangers via an app in exchange for money.
All that sharing has apparently started to add up. Yesterday, Lyft announced it had made a deal for $250 million in new financing. The company plans to use the money to expand its ride-sharing service across the U.S. and around the world after growing from two cities to thirty over the past year, says CEO Logan Green. Ride-sharing rival Uber secured about the same amount last summer. Lyft tries to distinguish itself from Uber by emphasizing the “sharing” part of ride-sharing, while Uber focuses on the “ride.” Now that the two are on more equal financial footing, the contest can truly get underway to determine which vision will decide the future of transportation — and whether sharing will really have anything to do with it at all.