Lyft reportedly plannning international expansion

Lyft, the smaller upstart in the ride-hailing wars, is nipping at competitor Uber’s wheels.

The smaller San Francisco-based company, until now unique in that it showed no interest in global domination, apparently has made an about-face.

Lyft is planning to expand internationally, and will reveal more details this year, a person with knowledge of the plans told CNBC.

Lyft declined to comment directly on the CNBC report. In an email, spokesman Adrian Durbin told SiliconBeat: “We continue to have strong relationships with our international partners and will explore additional ways of working together.”

News of Lyft’s potential international expansion, reported Friday night by CNBC, follows revelations that Lyft also may be closer to profitability than rival Uber.

Lyft lost about $600 million last year after pulling in $700 million in revenue, a person with knowledge of Lyft’s finances confirmed to SiliconBeat. That’s an improvement over 2015, when Lyft lost twice as much as it made.

The company expects those losses to shrink even more this year, and plans to be profitable by 2018, according to the same person.

The Information first reported on Lyft’s 2016 finances Thursday.

That means Lyft could be the first to make a profit. Rival Uber was on track to lose $2.8 billion last year after making $6 billion in revenue, The Information reported.

Lyft completed more than 160 million rides last year, more than triple its number in 2015, the company announced in a blog post last week. The ride-hailing startup is much smaller than competitor Uber — Lyft is worth $5.5 billion, compared to Uber’s $68 billion, according to CB Insights. But Uber has been bleeding money overseas — in August the company sold its Chinese business to rival Didi Chuxing, after losing $2 billion in the country over two years.

Lyft had teamed up with Didi to tackle the Chinese market, and partnered with GrabTaxi and Ola in Southeast Asia and India. But if Lyft does indeed begin to expand its own brand internationally, it may soon have no need for those global partners.

Photo: A Lyft amp display sign is pictured. (Courtesy of Lyft) 

 

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