Lyft lost $600 million last year, but it's making progress in its ride-hailing war with Uber

Lyft lost $600 million in 2016 in its battle with Uber for ride-hailing dominance, according to leaked financial data obtained by The Information’s Amir Efrati.

While that loss seems staggering, things are looking up for Lyft: the $5.5 billion startup generated $700 million in revenue last year, The Information reports.

That’s a vast improvement from previous years. In 2015, Lyft posted an operating loss of $360 million on revenue of about $200 million, a person familiar with the company’s financial statements told The Wall Street Journal in August. The Information pegs Lyft’s 2015 losses closer to $412 million.

The disparity was wider in 2014, The Information reports, when Lyft lost $199.4 million on revenue of $31.6 million. By contrast, Lyft’s main competitor — ride-hailing giant Uber — lost more than $800 million in the third quarter of 2016 alone. Those losses, which follow a reported $1.27 billion in the first half of the year, put Uber on track to lose $2.8 billion in 2016, according to The Information’s calculation in December.

It’s been an expensive few years for Lyft and Uber as the two companies try to best each other by offering expensive subsidies to both riders and drivers. In April, Lyft pledged to investors that it wouldn’t spend too much in its battle with Uber, promising not to spend more than $600 million in 2016 — a pledge the company has apparently kept.

When reached for comment on these latest alleged financials, Lyft provided the following statement to Business Insider: “Lyft does not publicly disclose our financials, but we have never been more optimistic about our future.”

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