Ridesharing company Lyft just got a serious financial lift.
The San Francisco-based, on-demand car share service has secured $80 million in fresh venture capital funding, sources tell Recode. That's a hefty chunk of the $150 million the company is looking to raise this round, according to documents filed this week in Delaware.
Lyft, which competes with Uber, arranges for pre-screened drivers to pick up people who need rides. Drivers in the Lyft community go through a phone interview, an in-person interview, background and DMV record checks before becoming registered. People who need rides check a mobile application to find a Lyft driver nearby. When a ride is complete, passengers are prompted to make a donation to the driver for the service. Lyft takes 20 percent of the donation as a fee.
The Lyft model has a playful and community-oriented feel. Cars that are part of the service don bright pink, fluffy mustaches and passengers and drivers are encouraged to “fist bump” when they get in the car. Check out the Lyft video below to hear from people who use the service.
In addition to its playful, community feel, Lyft is defined by its priority of being a mobile web application first. Currently, Lyft is in 24 cities in the U.S. from Atlanta to Baltimore to Seattle and Phoenix. Lyft officially launched in June of 2012, but it was built out of another ridesharing company, Zimride, which was born in 2007.
The recent round of fundraising reportedly values Lyft at as much as $700 million. And while the 9-figure deal is eye-popping, it’s still a far cry from the $3.5 billion valuation of competitor Uber. With Uber, passengers order and pay for rides entirely on their mobile device. Pricing for rides through Uber varies depending on supply and demand.
Lyft could not be immediately reached for comment.