Public Markets

Lyft Reports Rider, Revenue Growth Ahead Of IPO

Lyft filed for an IPO this morning, making history as the first U.S. ridehailing company to go public. Plus, it beat its longtime rival Uber, which has also been working toward a public offering.

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The news team took a deep breath and took an in-depth look at Lyft’s filing this morning, finding that the company more than doubled its revenue in 2018, posting $2.16 billion in total top line last year. That revenue growth was coupled with improving net margins – from -199 percent in 2016 to -42 percent last year, according to our report.

But Lyft’s S-1 included more than just overall revenue and loss metrics. Per our previous report, Lyft ended the final quarter of 2018 with 18.6 million “Active Riders” 1, up from 12.6 million riders in the year-ago Q4. And the company broke that information down on a quarter-by quarter basis.

Take a look at the data it provided in a chart below which hybridizes ridership revenue and ridership volume figures:

Per the chart, Lyft experienced a steady increase in revenue earned per active rider from 2016 to 2018. In December 2016, for example, the company reported 6.6 million active riders, which brought in about $18.53 per rider. By in 2018, those figures had risen to 18.6 million active riders, which brought in about $36.04 per rider.

Growth in the number of individuals hailing rides with Lyft coincided with growth in revenue, with the company pulling in $36.04 in revenue per active rider in Q4 2018. And according to the company, more than 1.1 million drivers shuttled those passengers around during Q4 2018.

Of course, within the context of the race to go public between Uber and Lyft, the latter’s growth is looking good. However, its numbers are, as expected, much smaller than its internationally expanded, big-tech counterpart. By comparison, Uber’s revenue reached $3.02 billion in Q4 2018 alone.  

Uber is also reportedly progressing in talks to buy Dubai-based ridehailing company, Careem, according to Bloomberg. The move would further widen Uber’s international footprint, a strategy Lyft is yet to dabble in.

That said, Uber’s revenue growth has decelerated over time: 2.3 percent growth in Q4 2018 from the sequentially preceding Q3, compared to the 5 percent gain it experienced in the previous quarter.

Crunchbase News is excited to take a look at Uber’s growth in revenue per active rider when the company files. The more information we have, the better equipped we’ll be to examine the Uber-Lyft competition.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias

  1. Lyft, according to Fast Company, defines “Active Riders” as all riders who take at least one ride on its multimodal platform through the Lyft app during a quarter.

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