Last Thursday, it looked as though Lyft would be the first ride-hailing unicorn to go public, after it confidentially filed a draft form for an IPO. But its bigger competitor, Uber, eliminated Lyft’s lead the following day when its own plans to go public were reported. Both are expected to hit the public markets as soon as the first quarter of 2019.
So where do they stand?
As of October, Uber and Lyft combined owned nearly 98 percent of the U.S. consumer ride-sharing market, according to new data from Second Measure, a company that analyzes billions of anonymized credit and debit card purchases. Uber held 69.2 percent (3 percentage points lower than in October 2017) according to Second Measure, while Lyft controlled 28.4 percent (3 percentage points higher than last year). Juno, Gett and Via split up the remaining 2.4 percent.
Second Measure’s Lyft estimates (28.4 percent) are a bit lower than the 35 percent market share the company claimed earlier this year, though Lyft’s numbers would include Canadian sales as well as corporate spending on rides. Uber doesn’t disclose market share numbers. Lyft and Uber both declined to comment on the data.
Both companies grew their revenue since last year, according to Second Measure, but Lyft’s grew 32 percent — twice as fast as Uber did when you compare October 2017 to October 2018.
According to Uber, its third-quarter revenue — which includes revenue from Uber Eats, its international business and payments from business accounts — increased a much higher 38 percent year over year to $2.95 billion. Second Measure’s numbers, which don’t include Uber Eats — Uber’s fastest-growing business — and are for U.S. consumers only, show 17 percent growth in that time.
A report from The Information, citing a person familiar with Lyft’s figures, said that Lyft’s U.S. and Canada revenue more than doubled in the first half of 2018 to $909 million. According to Second Measure’s data, Lyft’s U.S.-only revenue rose 71 percent in that time.
Note that Second Measure’s estimates of Uber’s ride-sharing sales included revenue from Uber Eats until May 2017, when the measurement company was able to separate the two. That made Uber’s ride-sharing market share slightly higher than it should have been prior to that timeframe.