Published On: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016

Lyft to Leverage Alliance with Didi Kuaidi to Gain Major Share in US Market

L-R logan-green-john-zimmer- lyft courtesy

 

Lyft Inc., an online ride-hailing and sharing service provider, is aiming to become a dominant force in the United States within two years by leveraging on its alliance with Didi Kuaidi, China’s largest player in the fast expanding sector, China Daily reported.

John Zimmer, Lyft president and co-founder, said in Beijing on Wednesday, Feb. 17, that Lyft is gaining strong market share from Uber Technologies Inc., the biggest ride-hailing operator in the U.S.

“We aim to gain a majority share of the U.S. market in the near term, ” Zimmer said in an interview held at the office building of Didi Kuaidi, which invested $100 million in Lyft in September.

The report said that latest statistics from Lyft showed that it now completes 7 million rides per month in more than 190 cities in the U.S. Zimmer said that he expects the company’s collaboration with Didi Kuaidi to give Lyft a strong boost in the U.S. market.

In December, a four-way partnership was forged by Didi Kuaidi, India’s Ola, Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi and Lyft. The partnership involves collaboration on a new feature on their existing taxi-booking apps to give their users access to each others’ cabs in their respective markets.

“The service is expected to roll out in another two to three months, ” Zimmer was quoted as saying.

“Didi Kuaidi’s users in China can hail cars from Lyft when they visit the U.S. by using the same app they use in China and Lyft’s users can hail cars from Didi Kuaidi when visiting China. We want to offer customers a seamless experience, ” Zimmer added.

Since the San Francisco-based company teamed up with Didi Kuaidi, Zimmer has visited Beijing several times to share information on the latest developments with Didi Kuaidi and the new tactics Lyft’s competitors have been adopting.

Zimmer said that the collaboration has great potential, as millions of people travel between China and the U.S. annually, “and the numbers are rising at an annual rate of 20 percent.” He noted that opportunities for car-hailing services are rising worldwide, but Lyft wants to focus primarily on its home market in the future.

Some industry observers, however, doubt Lyft’s future in the U.S., as it remains in the second spot behind Uber.

Zimmer countered that Lyft is on a better track for development, because it was born three years later than its main rival.

“We have raised more money and had a bigger valuation than Uber when it was three years old, ” the Lyft president said.

This story was first published at Yibada, by Manny Salvacion

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