As money pours into ride-sharing companies, the revolution in the private transportation industry continues.  

Lyft, the popular pink-mustached ride-sharing startup, announced on April 2 that they’d raised $250 million in a new round of financing. Domestic growth and international expansion are now on the horizon for the ride-sharing company.

Growing fast, and furious

Dealing with tough legal battles and regulatory issues didn’t slow Lyft down a bit. In as little as 20 months, the company expanded to 30 cities in the US, created 240 jobs, and raised a total of $333 million, which is said to give them a valuation of $700 million.

Image credit: Lyft

Image credit: Lyft

A race to change the culture of transportation

Lyft sparked a revolution in the transportation industry—pushing the ideal of the “sharing economy” one step further. Not only do they change the business’s pricing and remuneration structure but they also disrupt the way people ride.

Their peer-to-peer solution—where regular people use their private car to give you a lift—is all about building a community. Riders tend to sit in front and share life stories with a friendly driver.

Barriers to entry are rather low in this market, as regulations tend to either strongly favor ride-sharing services or not exist at all. Uber, Lyft’s strongest competitor, is fighting for a stake in the ride-sharing market with different tools. For them, community isn’t as important as  “moving people”—whether in a black limousine, a hybrid car, or a cab. They raised $250 million last summer to get it done and go global.

Chart credit: CBinsights.com

Chart credit: CBinsights.com

While a storm is brewing, new opportunities emerge

Don’t be fooled by the happy pink mustache or classy black car, there is a storm brewing in the mobility sphere and disruption rarely happens smoothly. As money pours into ride-sharing, everyone from taxi corporations to public transportation systems to policy makers—even automakers—must face a shift they may struggle to embrace.

Image credit: Rude Baguette

Image credit: Rude Baguette

However, customers appear to be king. Getting on board with ride-sharing might be the best way to make money or stay in business.

Breeze is one example. This San Francisco-based startup rents hybrid cars to people who want to be “drivers” but don’t have their own car. The two-month-old startup hasn’t revealed its secrets but seems to be ready to conquer other cities.

Featured image courtesy of Lyft

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