Why Lyft Thinks The Market Will Be Big Enough For Both Lyft And Uber

Recently the peer-to-peer ride-sharing company Lyft announced a new program that allows employers to automatically cover transportation costs incurred by employees. It’s called Lyft for Work. The setup is simple: Employers set a recurring limit in Lyft for employee transportation—to and from meetings, carpools, etc.—and any unused credits are left unbilled.

It another step toward Lyft’s goal to become an indispensable part of the ride-share economy. Meanwhile its archrival, Uber, this week announced another $1 billion funding round, spiking it to a valuation of over $40 billion. But Lyft president John Zimmer believes the two company’s models can—perhaps optimistically—coexist.

Speaking at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored conference last month, Zimmer said he believes that, if you pay attention to how the ride-share market is expanding, there will be more than enough room in the future to accommodate both companies. No sabotage necessary, apparently.

According to Zimmer, Uber is a technology-driven limo company, while Lyft is largely a P2P community. In reality, both models and their branches—UberX, Lyft Line, etc.—have substantial overlap.

“What’s going to happen over the next few years is transportation is going to transition from a period of ownership to transportation as a service,” says Zimmer. “And in the United States, Americans spend about $2 trillion every year on the car. Then the question is: What is the best model to address the largest part of that market? We believe that’s a peer-to-peer model.”

And although the two are often compared side by side, Uber is much larger than Lyft. Uber has raised $2.7 billion from investors, while Lyft has raised just over $300 million. Uber’s valuation is pegged at $40 billion, while Lyft is estimated to be worth $700 million.CG