Ridesharing startup Lyft has announced a $60M Series C round led by Andreessen Horowitz, on the same day it celebrates its one-year anniversary. In honor of the occasion, the company tells us that it is now giving an average of 30,000 rides per week.
A lot has changed since the company, famous for transporting people sporting pink mustaches, first launched in San Francisco. Since then, it has expanded to several other cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. We spoke with Lyft co-founder and Chief Operating Officer John Zimmer, who tells us that the company realized with each new market, it would grow faster in the first 12 weeks than in the previous market.
Originally known as Zimride, the company legally changed to Lyft following its launch in Chicago.
While things seem to be going well with the company, it’s facing some major obstacles in its path. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is the regulatory one. Just like competitors Uber and Sidecar, Lyft has been the recipient of cease and desist letters and is facing scrutiny by various regulatory bodies. On the other hand, it’s also facing stiff competition, especially from Uber which is working on implementing a rideshare service soon.
That being said, investors do not appear to be deterred by the battles Lyft is facing. The company just raised $60 million from not only Andreessen Horowitz, but also investments from previous investors like Founders Fund and Mayfield. Zimmer tells us that it will use the new investment to build out “a world-class team” and continue to grow in the areas of operations and engineering.
Additionally, Lyft will use it to expand to other markets, including those around the world, not just in the US. When asked about specifics, Zimmer said that his company has a “long list of cities” that it hopes to launch in over the next 12 months.
Zimmer says that Lyft went with Andreessen Horowitz because of the firm’s experience. He believes that the team there is made up of ‘real operators’, many of whom have built businesses themselves prior to being an investor.
Now, Lyft will be able to tap into the VC firm’s list of advisors like former Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and tech veteran Ken Coleman. These resources could help Lyft navigate not only its regulatory waters, but also help it expand internationally.
With the addition of its $60 million investment windfall, Lyft has raised a total of $82.5 million from fbFund, K9 Ventures, Floodgate, Mayfield Fund, Founders Fund, Keith Rabois, and now Andreessen Horowitz.
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