Lyft, the ride-sharing company has been carrying a strong battle against its biggest competitor Uber for a while now. But recently, Lyft has managed to score key partnerships that will contribute to the company’s steady growth and establishment in the industry. These can be divided into three different markets that Lyft is targeting:
- International Market Coverage
- Parcel Delivery Market
- Corporate Travel Market
International Market Coverage
In order to grow its customer base and have a first-mover advantage in the international markets, Lyft has taken the opposite approach of its competitors. Instead of starting from scratch and building its own brand in each new market, Lyft has taken the liberty of joining already successful ride-sharing companies in these foreign markets. An example of this is Lyft’s partnership with China’s Didi Chuxing. Partnering with Didi Chuxing, which is already well-established all across China, allows Lyft to guarantee its clients the same quality of service when they travel abroad.
This strategic alliance also has advantages in Lyft’s home country: it lets Chinese tourists traveling to the US to order a Lyft car seamlessly through the Didi app.
Lyft has also forged partnerships in line with Ola (India) and Grab (Southeast Asia) with the aim of increasing market share and revenue in the Asia Pacific region.
Parcel Delivery Market
Lyft and arch-rival Uber have both been approached by Walmart to join the scramble to dominate the last-mile delivery market. In this test project Lyft will be working with Wal-Mart in Denver, delivering clients their groceries to their homes. According to Top Tech News, this program will give Wal-Mart the chance to evaluate if either company would be beneficial for a longer-term partnership. This partnership has the potential to help Lyft diversify its service offering, from transporting people to transporting goods.
Corporate Travel Market
Lyft has started gaining market share in the corporate travel market. It has done this by providing reliable on-on demand access to transportation in its cities. It has also been supported by its strategic alliances with key players. To date, Lyft has amassed a portfolio of corporate travel partners including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Airbnb, Intuit and others (2). In its quarterly report, the company notes: “Lyft has also established momentum with the business travel trend growing 44% from Q4 2015 to Q1 2016” (3)
Lyft’s highest-profile corporate partnership to date has been with General Motors, where the manufacturing company contributed with an investment of 500M. Besides contributing capital, the partnership will also provide cars for Lyft applicants who don’t have qualifying cars through the Express Drive Program.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Lyft and GM partnership is their longer-term goal: developing a whole fleet of self-driving cars.