Lyft beats earnings predictions and introduces Waymo self-driving cars

The startup, which went to public in March, has announced revenue of $776m for the first quarter of 2019 and revealed that Waymo minivans would soon be available to hire via the app in Phoenix, Arizona


In its first quarter as a publicly trading company, Lyft revealed better-than-expected revenue of $776m for 1Q19, beating analyst's expectations of $738.5m. The ride-hailing startup also announced that Google's self-driving Waymo minivans would soon be available on its app.

Lyft was valued at $20bn when it first went public at the end of March despite admitting it had "a history of net losses" and "may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future". The promising financial results for the first quarter of this year demonstrated that the Uber competitor has serious interest from investors, despite several days of volatile trading since going to IPO.

"The first quarter was a strong start to an important year, our first as a public company," said Logan Green, co-founder and CEO of Lyft. "Our performance was driven by the increased demand for our network and multimodal platform, as Active Riders grew 46% and revenue grew 95% year over year. Transportation is one of the largest segments of our economy and we are still in the very early stages of an enormous secular shift from personal car ownership to transportation-as-a-service."

Lyft has been among a number of mature startups that have chosen to go public this year, which has included Pinterest, Slack, Zoom and market leader Uber. Many, however, have faced lower-than-expected valuations which has been blamed on market saturation. Lyft's decision to begin offering self-driving cars, therefore, suggests a concerted effort to stay ahead of the game.

To begin with, Lyft will offer 10 Waymo vehicles on its app in a select number of towns around Phoenix, Arizona. The vehicles will have safety drivers behind the wheel.

The company already offers self-driving cars in Las Vegas which have been developed by tech company Aptiv. However, as The Verge noted, Google "is widely seen as having some of the best technology in operation today" and has been mapping the Phoenix suburb streets for more than two years. 

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