Today, we’re announcing a major step forward in our mission to reconnect people and communities through better transportation.
With an additional $530 million in funding, led by Rakuten, we will accelerate more quickly toward a world where every seat is filled and every driver and passenger is empowered to join together in improving our economy, environment and local communities.
Imagine a world where traffic disappears. Where your normal commute turns into extra income. Where we not only get from A to B safely, affordably and conveniently, but we enjoy the ride and make new friends along the way.
This is no longer just part of our imagination - this vision is quickly becoming reality. What some forget is that just two and a half years ago, Lyft was an experiment. An experiment that challenged the transportation status quo and tapped into the core of humanity. Would people share rides with people they didn’t know in their personal vehicles? Would governments be open to rapid transportation innovation? Would a company based on the principles of a community-led movement scale to millions of people?
Thanks to our incredible community, you’ve answered these questions, made history and turned the experiment into a true movement. Thanks to your impact, nearly 30 pieces of new legislation have passed at the city and state level that welcome this new way of getting around. Thanks to your participation, rides grew 5-fold in 2014, and we’re seeing tremendous growth in early 2015. Thanks to your involvement, communities are changing, for the better.
As thrilled as we are about the progress we’ve made together in such a short time, we’re most excited about the future. The new investment we’re announcing today gives us an incredible opportunity to continue growing, innovating and realizing our full vision.
Specifically, we’ll focus on three key areas:
Deepening our US footprint. We will deepen our presence in the 65 markets where we operate, and expand into new cities. Similar to the early days of building out wireless networks, we will lay the groundwork for critical American infrastructure as we transform the $2.25 trillion US personal transportation market. Making the right investments will allow us to deliver timely, reliable experiences to millions of drivers and passengers.
Continuing to lead with innovation. Our focus on finding the right balance between humanity and technology led us to launch the first peer-to-peer ridesharing service, the first instant shared ride at scale with Lyft Line, and a new way for casual drivers to join the ridesharing movement through Driver Destination.
We will continue hiring the best talent to develop technology that reduces traffic, takes cars off the road, builds community and improves the economy. Our roadmap is exciting, and we look forward to sharing more of it with you in the coming months.
Expanding the vision for Lyft Line. We founded the company on the premise of shared rides - it’s the real-world demonstration of how bringing people together can solve the greatest challenges of our times.
We’ll continue investing in the Lyft Line experience as we’ve been doing for the past six months - from the acquisitions of Rover and Hitch, to the best matching algorithms, to new innovations such as Lyft Line HotSpots. The new capital will allow us to continue to improve this experience and bring Lyft Line to more cities.
Thank you to everyone who plays a big part in this important movement - as a driver, a passenger, employee or investor. It’s been an incredible ride, and we’ve only just begun.