Lyft President John Zimmer said the company will rely on its community, with its signature pink mustaches and fist bumps, to gain a large user base, even in the face of stiff competition from Uber and others.
“We both have raised a good amount of money,” Zimmer noted on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt. “I think it comes down to experience. We’ve really invested in this sense of community.”
Uber raised a $258 million round of funding from Google Ventures on August 22, 2013, bringing their total funding to $307 million. Lyft has raised $82.5 million to date.
Zimmer and CEO Logan Green said the company has doubled its number of rides given in the last month, and is expanding rapidly. Lyft only operated in San Francisco a year ago and currently operates in 10 cities, all in the United States. Uber currently operates in 45 cities in 18 countries.
Last Thursday, Lyft announced that it was expanding to Indianapolis, St. Paul, and Atlanta. Uber responded by lauching UberX, its low cost option, in Indianapolis and St. Paul (it had already been operating in Atlanta) and offering users five free rides up to $20 each in value in those cities.
“We haven’t seen any impact from those efforts,” Zimmer said, adding that Lyft’s demand keeps growing exponentially.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick joined us at Disrupt SF last fall and claimed that UberX numbers were “probably at or above” Lyft’s at the time. “Competition is fun,” Kalanick said at the time. “That shit is fun. Let’s go.”