Lyft vs. Uber: What to know about the ride-hailing rivals

As Lyft and Uber race to go public, the two IPOs -- which are eagerly anticipated by investors who want a piece of the ride-hailing market -- are gearing up to among the biggest this year.

Late Wednesday, Reuters reported that Lyft is planning to officially go public the week of March 18, making it the first ride-hailing company to debut in the public market, beating Uber to the punch. By beating its rival, Lyft likely will avoid being judged by the same valuation metrics that will be applied to Uber -- which is much bigger.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two companies ahead of their likely public debuts this year.

Market value: Uber has reportedly received proposals from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which value it around $120 billion -- much larger than Lyft, whose market value is estimated closer to $25 billion.

Market share: There’s a reason that Uber is valued so much higher than Lyft: It has about a 69 percent market share in the U.S. with 100 million users worldwide. Lyft, meanwhile, has captured about 28 percent of the market, according to Second Measure.

Founders: In 2009. Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick came up with the idea for UberCab; they conducted a beta launch in 2010, but officially launched in San Francisco in 2011. At the time, it was more expensive than a cab, because users could only hail luxury cars.

Although Logan Green and John Zimmer didn’t launch Lyft until 2012, they had actually created a carpooling service called Zimride in 2007. It wasn’t quite the same concept however; according to Ride Guru, the company focused more on ride-sharing for longer trips, sometimes even between cities. In 2013, Zimride officially changed its name to Lyft.


Presence: Lyft operates in more than 300 cities in the U.S., according to its website. Uber, meanwhile, operates in about 785 metropolitan areas worldwide.