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Lyft's revenue growth is nearly triple Uber's

The two ride-hailing companies are in deep competition -- with Lyft's revenue growth expanding faster, but Uber still making more money.

Uber and Lyft are in high competition in the US.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Lyft wants to give Uber a run for its money.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company released financials Monday that show its revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 2.75 times faster than Uber's. Lyft revenue growth was 168 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a company spokesman. Uber's was 61 percent, though from a much larger revenue base.

Lyft's growth comes as Uber recorded significantly more revenue than its rival last year. An Uber spokesman said fourth-quarter revenue came in at $2.2 billion, up 11.8 percent from the previous quarter, whereas Lyft's total annual revenue for 2017 came in at $1 billion.

Lyft attributes its recent growth to adding more cities and drivers to its roster and tightening its belt with marketing expenses.

"We've recently achieved record market share levels nationwide even as we significantly reduce sales and marketing expenses," Brian Roberts, Lyft's chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Uber had a rough 2017 with dozens of scandals and a rotating door of executives. Lyft benefitted from that. It cast itself as the nicer, friendlier ride hailing company and was able to pull in passengers from its rival. Lyft increased the number of trips it gave by 130 percent from 2016 and launched in its first international city, Toronto.

Lyft, like Uber, is preparing for an initial public offering within the next couple of years. It's added several new executives and members to its board of directors who have financial backgrounds. They include Jon McNeill, who left Tesla to be Lyft's chief operating officer, and Kristina Omari, Lyft's new vice president of corporate development and investor relations.

For 2018, Lyft said it plans to keep forging ahead and cutting sales and marketing costs. The company said it expects the first quarter of this year to be its 20th consecutive quarter of 100 percent (year over year) revenue growth. It also hopes to keep giving customers more than 10 million rides a week.

"We remain focused on driving sustainable growth and making investments," Roberts said. "2018 is poised to be a year of exceptional growth and industry rationalization."

Correction, 2:09 p.m.: Lyft's annual revenue for 2017 was $1 billion. An earlier version of this story said the $1 billion was for the fourth quarter.

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