Lyft, a ‘peer-to-peer ridesharing service’, has raised $530 million in funding, led by Rakuten, a Japanese ecommerce group, which it will use to deepen its US footprint.
Total venture funds raised by the company stand at over $850 million and the investment means Lyft is now valued at $2.5 billion, while rival Uber has been valued at $40 billion following its most recent funding round.
Lyft said the number of rides made through its app grew five-fold last year, and claims that “nearly 30 pieces of new legislation have passed at the city and state level that welcome this new way of getting around.”
It now wants to deepen its presence in the 65 markets where it already operates, as well as expand into new cities.
The company wants to “lay the groundwork for critical American infrastructure as we transform the $2.25 trillion US personal transportation market,” it said in a blog post, adding that “making the right investments will allow us to deliver timely, reliable experiences to millions of drivers and passengers.”
It also wants to expand Lyft Line, which allows users to share a ride with others going the same way.
“We’ll continue investing in the Lyft Line experience as we’ve been doing for the past six months – from the acquisitions of Rover and Hitch, to the best matching algorithms,” it said.