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Lyft has delivered its 1 billionth ride, the company announced Tuesday, a milestone that represents its continued growth.
Fueling this growth: Lyft's expansion into new markets. The ride-hailing service was at 500 million rides in October 2017, and has since launched in 20 new markets, including Toronto and Ottawa in Canada, the company told CNBC.
This milestone comes six years after Lyft launched in June 2012 and as it gears up for a potential initial public offering in 2019. However, Lyft is still far behind rival Uber, which hit 1 billion rides in December 2015, 5½ years after it launched. Uber has a much larger global footprint, operating in 65 countries, and stakes in 15 others. Uber reached 10 billion rides this past July.
However, due to Uber's size and scale growth has slowed, and Lyft is growing faster. Lyft previously told CNBC it passed $1 billion in GAAP revenue in 2017, and showed revenue growth of 168 percent in the fourth quarter versus the prior year's fourth quarter. Uber's latest financials from the second quarter of 2018 showed the company's growth has slowed.
Lyft is also steadily gaining market share on Uber, and now has 29 percent of the market, compared with Uber's 69 percent, according to market research firm Second Measure. (The firm tracks credit and debit cards but includes international rides in its U.S. market share calculation.)
"We are incredibly motivated knowing that each individual ride can make a difference in people's lives, and we appreciate the community of drivers and passengers who made this possible," Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer said in a statement on the 1 billion ride milestone.
Lyft says 233 million of those last 1 billion rides were shared rides. Both Lyft and Uber are working to become the one-stop transportation app for passengers, providing shared rides, bikes, e-scooters and other options.
The company says it expects more rapid growth as it builds out Lyft's network of in-app transportation options, as more riders choose to take bikes, scooters and public transit in addition to cars.
Lyft recently bought bikeshare operator Motivate, the firm behind New York's Citi Bikes and San Francisco's GoBikes, while Uber purchased Jump Bikes and partnered with Lime to provide e-scooters on its platform.