CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Tech Industry

Lyft is keeping up with Uber, but at a price, report says

Leaked documents allegedly reveal the ride-hailing service estimates it rung up $130 million in revenue in 2014, but it's spending more than half of that on marketing.

Leaked documents reveal Lyft has reportedly quadrupled its passengers over the last year. Lyft

Ride-hailing company Lyft has been steadily working to compete with its multi-billionaire rival Uber, and now there is reportedly data to show that it's keeping up -- but it's spending hand over fist to do so.

Bloomberg got its hands on a leaked document from Lyft that shows the service, which pairs passengers with drivers via a smartphone app, expects to spend 60.5 percent of its revenue on marketing in December 2015. The 40-page document also reveals that Lyft estimates it counted $130 million in revenue in 2014. Both Uber and Lyft are private companies and don't have to publish their financial information publicly.

The two ride-hailing companies have a history of waging war. There have been price-slashing skirmishes; turf battles; and Uber even admitted to carrying out a secretive campaign to recruit Lyft drivers called "Operation SLOG" in August.

This rivalry hasn't stopped investors from throwing money at the companies. Uber is the second-highest valued venture-backed company in the world, with a valuation of $41.2 billion and Lyft is in the top 30, with a valuation of $2.5 billion. Both Uber and Lyft declined to comment for this story.

The document, which Bloomberg noted was designed for Lyft executives to use in a presentation, says Uber has an "exclusive mentality" with "anti-social culture." Conversely, the document reportedly says, Lyft is a "trusted brand" with its growth being led by its drivers.

This rhetoric echoes statements made by Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green in the past. In March, while speaking at a festival in Austin, Texas, Green said Uber has "crossed a handful of lines" in their rivalry.

"We have completely different visions for the world and we operate very differently," he said.

While Lyft is reportedly spending a lot of money on marketing, the document says it also quadrupled its passengers numbers in December 2014. That month Lyft had 51,000 drivers and 2.2 million rides, according to the document, and in December 2013 it had 7,000 drivers and 488,000 rides.

During that March talk, Green said Lyft is "already profitable in our top markets," which are San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. The leaked document reportedly says Lyft estimates it will generate revenue of $796 million in 2015, which would be a 512 percent boost from 2014. For comparison, according to leaked documents from Uber in December 2013, which were obtained by Valleywag, Uber generated $22 million in revenue in one week in November.