US-based ride-sharing service Lyft plans to grow its service into new markets at home and beyond thanks to a fresh injection of cash.
The company said today in a blog post that it has secured an extra $250 million of Series D financing, and that the money would be used to expand the service beyond the borders of the 30 cities in which it already operates – although it didn’t reveal which could be next on the list.
Perhaps more importantly though, it also said that international launches were on the cards:
After bringing Lyft from two cities to 30 in the past year alone, we will use this investment to continue to grow domestically and expand internationally to fulfill the demand for this new form of community-powered transportation.
Among the backers were existing investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Mayfield, as well as new partners including Coatue, Alibaba and Third Point.
The move comes just after the company introduced Happy Hour pricing for cheaper rides at quieter times of the day – a sort of response to Uber’s Surge Pricing model. Already a competitive marketplace in any large city, an international expansion would put Lyft into direct rivalry with services like Uber in many potential new markets.
However, the company said it was planning it in May last year too, so clearly finalizing the details is slow-going. Regulatory challenges in some places, like Los Angeles, have likely slowed things down a bit – and serve as a reminder that different cities have different rules on these services, so any international expansion will have to be dealt with carefully.
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