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27. Lyft

Mobility as a service

Founders: John Zimmer, Logan Green
Launched: 2012
Funding: $2 billion
Valuation: $5.5 billion
Disrupting: Public transportation, taxi and limousine services
Rival: Uber

(left to right) Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer
Source: Lyft
(left to right) Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer

When folks talk about Lyft — a peer-to-peer ride-sharing service — it's usually to compare the San Francisco-based company to its biggest rival, Uber.

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But there are some striking differences that could set Lyft apart in the years ahead. Chief among them: its recent deal with auto giant General Motors. Earlier this year, Lyft and General Motors announced they are teaming up to build a network of self-driving cars.

GM is investing $500 million in Lyft to develop a fleet of autonomous vehicles that can be summoned on demand. In the meantime, the automaker will also set up hubs across the country where Lyft drivers can rent and operate cars without owning them. Despite regulatory hurdles, today the company has 315,000 active drivers and last year served 5 million customers. It reached $1 billion in gross revenues in 2015 and has a valuation of more than $5 billion. Among its investors is Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Carl Icahn, Japanese retailer Rakuten and Andreessen Horowitz.

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