Lyft isn't concerned with offering cheaper rides than Uber, co-founders say

  • Lyft claimed 39 percent of the U.S. ride-hailing market at the end of 2018.
  • The dueling ride-hailing companies have drawn increasing comparison in recent months, as each company has raced toward a public offering practically in tandem.
  • Historically Lyft has benefited from Uber's stumbles.

Lyft isn't concerned with offering cheaper on-demand rides than rival Uber, according to the company's co-founders.

CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer spoke to their fiercest competition in an interview with CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin on "Squawk Box" ahead of the stock's public market debut Friday.

"It's not about a price battle between the two players anymore," Zimmer said. "It's about getting the best service, having the best software and real world operations."

The dueling ride-hailing companies have drawn increasing comparison in recent months, as each company has raced toward a public offering practically in tandem. Uber and Lyft announced their confidential IPO filings on the same day, though Lyft has now beaten its larger rival to the official debut.

Historically, Lyft has benefited from Uber's stumbles. Lyft claimed a 60 percent week-over-week jump in passenger activations during #deleteUber movement in January 2017 that stemmed from scandals within Uber around driver conditions and rider safety.

"In 2016 and prior, there was a need for us to get up to scale — scale in our business is a three-minute pick-up time," Zimmer said. "Now what we have is 80 percent of our passengers are coming in organically. They're coming in because of the brand, because of the service, [and] because of our driver community."

Lyft claimed 39 percent of the U.S. ride-hailing market at the end of 2018, according to its IPO prospectus, an increase of 17 percentage points from two year prior. Uber has a significantly larger international presence than Lyft, which is currently only operating in the U.S. and Canada.

"People are choosing Lyft," Zimmer said. "Lyft is focused on consumer transportation, focused on North America, and focused on taking care of our drivers and passengers, and that's paying off."

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