SAN FRANCISCO May 23 Ride-sharing service Lyft
said it had raised $60 million from venture-capital firm
Andreessen Horowitz, underscoring the growing appeal of services
that tap into consumers' willingness to share goods and services
for a fee.
Lyft allows customers to book rides from a network of
screened drivers, who pull up in cars with fluffy pink
moustaches attached to the fenders. Payment takes the form of a
donation, made via the Lyft smartphone app.
The cash will "propel the Lyft movement globally," wrote
Andreessen Horowitz partner Scott Weiss in a blog post.
Currently, Lyft operates in five areas, including San Francisco,
Los Angeles and New York, according to its web site.
Sidecar offers a similar peer-based service, backed by
investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google
Ventures. Uber, a Benchmark Capital-backed competitor with its
roots in using idle town cars, operates in more cities,
Another Google Ventures-backed company, RelayRides, allows
consumers to rent other peoples' cars. TaskRabbit, whose backers
include Founders Fund and Shasta Ventures, allows people to
outsource errands to a pre-screened network of "rabbits."
Perhaps the best known service in the emerging "sharing
economy" is accommodation service Airbnb, which has raised more
than $100 million from backers including Andreessen. It allows
people to rent houses, spare rooms and even sofas.
Previous Lyft investors Mayfield Fund and Founders Fund also
contributed to Lyft's latest funding round.