Even as ride-sharing services such as Uber’s smartphone app get banned or legally challenged across the world, the business sector is in full swing, expanding into companies worth billions of dollars.
Uber Technologies – thanks to the negative publicity surrounding its car-hailing service – has become a prominent name when it comes to the new business sector. Protests from cabbies in many cities across the globe, bans from certain authorities and even suits that call into question its practices have not stopped such services from growing.
Now, Lyft Inc., one of Uber’s rivals, moved to acquire Corral Labs. The latter makes Hitch, an app for San Francisco residents that allows them to share rides with people going in the same direction – a feat very similar to carpooling.
“We’re very early on in terms of where the product can be in a few years,” comments Lyft Chief Technology Officer Chris Lambert. “The Hitch team will definitely help us expand to more markets.”
Lyft and Uber, both San Francisco-based startups have been fighting each other ferociously to gain command of the rising ride-sharing business sector. They cut down on prices and even recruited each other’s drivers. Both companies have been successful in raising additional financing – Uber got recently $1.2 billion and Lyft in April received $250 million from various investors, including the Alibaba Group.