Uber’s recent stumbles could be giving Lyft a chance to gain ground in the ride-hailing market as customers shift allegiance, new market data suggest.
App store analytics firm App Annie told Inc. that from June 2016 to June 2017, “Lyft has seen well over 18 million downloads in the U.S. across both iOS and Google Play combined.” Additionally, “iOS and Google Play combined downloads for Lyft in the U.S. grew 115 percent in Q1 2017 year over year to five million.”
Uber has been burdened with legal and internal complications that peaked when one of the investors and board members Benchmark Capital, sued former CEO Travis Kalanick. And while Uber is busy battling the turmoil, Lyft raised an additional $600 million to fuel its expansion. It has also announced a deal with Jaguar Land Rover to unveil a fleet of luxury vehicles.
Another major catalyst in Lyft’s rise is the fact that the #DeleteUber campaign is still on. The campaign started as a protest against Uber taxis servicing out JFK Airport at a time of strike against President Trump’s communist-sounding ruling. Lyft registered 70.4 million rides in the first three months of this year was nearly 2.5 times more than a year earlier.
When asked about the ‘Uber effect’ on Lyft, Lyft’s Director of Product Taggart Matthiesen says, “If you look at our strategy and how we’re evolving our product, that’s not something that we evaluate. We are continuing to try and improve the experience. At some point that stuff will probably fade away.”
A Lyft spokesperson said, “We started this year with incredible momentum after seeing 3x growth in 2016. In only the first six months of 2017, we launched over 150 new cities, welcomed millions of new passengers and drivers, and have already given more rides than in all of 2016. As awareness of Lyft continues to grow, our driver and passenger base has increased organically, as well.”
A poll conducted by TheRideShareGuy.com, which is a blog for drivers, found that 75.8% of 1,150 of drivers surveyed said they were satisfied with Lyft. Only 49.4% said they were satisfied with Uber.
All this aside, Matthiesen’s main focus these days is Lyft’s push for self-driving cars, which the company thinks will reshape its entire fleet within two decades. As a step towards this goal, Lyft announced self-driving car partnerships with General Motors and Google’s parent company, Alphabet.