On Friday, Lyft filed IPO documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission and becomes the first US app based ride-hailing company to be heading to the stock market. The company was started as a college carpooling service called Zimride in 2007, and by the end of December 2018, they said that it had achieved a 39 percent market share in the US.
“We believe that our brand represents freedom at your fingertips: freedom from the stresses of car ownership and freedom to do and see more,” Lyft wrote in the filing. “We believe that cities should be built for people, not cars.”
The rise in the company’s share comes from the new riders and drivers as well as more frequent rides from existing users. Lyft has been counting its riders and also giving discounts in its fares to run IPO, according to some recent reports.
Lyft states in its S-1 document required by the SEC for public companies, “We are laser-focused on revolutionizing transportation and continue to lead the market in innovation, We have established a scaled network of drivers and riders, or users, brought together by our robust technology platform that powers millions of rides and connections every day.”
The company is also planning to give some of its drivers cash bonuses, with the purpose that the drivers then would be able to use cash and to purchase stock. The ride-sharing companies can not grant stock to their drivers as per the SEC rules which prevent giving private company stock shares to freelancers.
Lyft was launched long before Uber but still it was behind in the race than its competitors like Uber. Therefore, eventually, the company seized the opportunity to recruit disillusioned drivers and riders, upgraded its app, step up the game of marketing efforts to lure more riders and expanded its US-only service into 160 more cities for a total of about 350.
Apparently, Lyft is also competing with Uber to become the only provider of transportation modes like bikes, scooters, and public transportation. Just like Uber, lyft is also running an electric scooter program.