Lyft is gaining ground on arch-rival Uber — although there’s still lots of distance between the two app-based taxi companies.
Gross bookings at the company, known for the pink mustaches drivers used to put on their cars, grew 25% in the second quarter compared with the first quarter this year, according to a person familiar with Lyft’s financial results. That put Lyft’s gross bookings for the quarter at just over $US1 billion, the person said.
The company’s drivers gave about the same number of rides in the first half of this year as in all of last year, according to the source. Lyft drivers gave about 162.6 million rides last year.
“Lyft has achieved incredible growth this year and enters the second half of 2017 in a very strong position,” Brian Roberts, the company’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We are well positioned to continue our growth in 2017 and beyond.”
Bloomberg originally reported Lyft’s financial results.
The San Francisco startup’s growth far exceeded that of Uber in the most recent period. Gross bookings at Uber grew between 10% and the mid teens, percentage-wise, from the first quarter of this year to the second, according to Bloomberg.
Despite Lyft’s gains, it still trails far behind Uber. Lyft’s $US1 billion in quarterly gross bookings compare to Uber, which reportedly took in about $US8.25 billion in gross bookings during the second quarter. Part of that difference is due to the fact that Lyft only operates in the United States, while Uber offers rides in dozens of countries around the world.
Gross bookings are the amount of money consumers pay for their rides. Uber and Lyft only record about 20% to 30% of bookings as revenue; the rest of the fares typically go to drivers.
The news of Lyft’s financial results follows a report last month that Uber’s US market share had dropped significantly this year.
Lyft has been rapidly expanding its service. The company has begun offering rides in 160 new markets this year, according to the company. That far exceeds the company’s goal for the year; in January, the company said it expected to begin service in 100 new markets by the end of this year.
The company has also likely benefitted from the turmoil at its crosstown rival. An investigation into sexual harassment and an allegedly aggressive and toxic culture at Uber led to the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick, the departure of numerous executives, and the firing of more than 20 employees. Uber has also drawn fire for apparently trying to circumvent a New York taxi protest over President Trump’s immigration policies, for Kalanick’s initial membership on Trump’s business advisory council, and company officials response to charges that a woman was raped in India by an Uber driver.