In January 2017, the #DeleteUber social media urged people to delete their Uber accounts after the ride-hailing company was accused of exploiting a protest against President Trump’s travel ban to make money.
The hashtag spread like wildfire — and it now looks like it had a significant positive impact on Uber’s key competitor, Lyft.
On Friday, Lyft published its S-1 paperwork as it prepares to go public in what is expected to be the first of many multi-billion dollar IPOs throughout 2019. The documents offer investors and analysts an unprecedented glimpse inside the Silicon Valley transportation firm’s financials— including that it had revenues of $2.15 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, up from $1.06 billion a year prior, with significant losses of $911.3 million in 2018, up from $688.3 million in 2017. It reportedly plans on going public at a valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion.
And it also specifically calls out early 2017, when #DeleteUber was at its peak, at a period when Lyft saw improved rates of growth in the average revenue generated by active users of the app. Also of note is that, around the same time, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a bombshell blog post that accused the company of fostering a hostile workplace— putting the company and its culture under harsh scrutiny.
Ultimately, founder Travis Kalanick ultimately resigned as Uber CEO in June 2017, acceding to pressures both inside and outside the company, following this string of scandals. Uber’s loss, though, seems to have been Lyft’s gain, in terms of its business.
“The growth rate in Revenue per Active Rider increased significantly in the first and second quarters of 2017 as our brand and values continued to resonate with riders and they increased their usage of Lyft instead of competing offerings,” the S-1 says.
In its S-1, Lyft heavily promotes values like “social responsibility,” in a seeming attempt to differentiate itself from its bigger and better-funded rival Uber, which has come under fire for what is percieved as its cutthroat approach to competition.
“To advance our mission, we aim to build the defining brand of our generation and to promote a company culture based on our unique values and commitment to social responsibility. We believe that our brand represents freedom at your fingertips: freedom from the stresses of car ownership and freedom to do and see more,” it says.
“In addition, our core values focus on authenticity, empathy and support for others and encourage our team members to take initiative. These values have given rise to a unique company culture that fosters an amazing community of drivers, riders and employees, and has helped establish Lyft as a widely-trusted and recognized brand. We believe many users are loyal to Lyft because of our values, brand and commitment to social responsibility.”
It also says that the “Y” in Lyft stands for “why” — as in, the reason the company exists, which is its mission to “improve people’s lives with the best transportation.”
More broadly, Lyft’s overall market share in the United States has also grown significantly — nearly doubling over the last two years.
“As ridesharing becomes more mainstream, we believe that users are increasingly choosing a ridesharing platform based on brand affinity and value alignment. Our U.S. ridesharing market share was 39% in December 2018, up from 22% in December 2016,” it says.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Lyft had 18.6 million active users and 1.1 million drivers.
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