As Uber continues to overcome the controversy of recent events concerning its autonomous fleet, ride-hailing rival Lyft has received a huge boost after raising an additional $600 million in a Series I financing round.
Tech Crunch reports that Fidelity Management & Research Company and Senator Investment Group LP led the latest capital raise, bringing Lyft’s valuation to $15.1 billion, more than double its value just 14 months ago.
With the introduction of its service in new cities across the United States and Canada, as well as the rapid development of autonomous vehicles, Lyft’s presence is on the rise. In fact, its market share in the U.S. has jumped from 22 per cent in January 2017 to 35 per cent.
Lyft is closing in on Uber
Since Lyft’s formation, it has raised $5.1 billion in primary capital. By comparison, Uber reached a peak valuation of almost $70 billion in 2016 and is currently valued at roughly $62 billion.
Whereas Uber’s self-driving program hit a roadblock after a fatal crash earlier this year, Lyft’s autonomous plans are surging forwards. The ride-hailing company has joined forces with the likes of General Motors, Waymo and Aptiv to further the development of the technology.
Moreover, in July 2017 Lyft launched its own autonomous driving division. Lyft hasn’t been as public as Uber about the progress of its autonomous vehicles, but can cover some ground while Uber’s fleet is grounded.
Lyft says it is pursuing Level 5 autonomy so its vehicles can control themselves in all situations. When developed, this technology would be used to create a self-driving fleet of cars for the company’s ride-hailing service.