The story of Lyft – Inspired by Africa


Lyft is an app which matches drivers who own cars with passengers that need rides. It is one of the first peer-to-peer ride sharing apps created and that is why its founder Logan Green is a true revolutionist. Whilst thousands use Lyft everyday and millions more know of the company, not many people know where the idea of peer-to-peer ride sharing comes from.

 

So where did the idea of Lyft come?

As Green, founder of Lyft explains “I was inspired by what I saw African entrepreneurs do to solve transport problems, whilst traveling in the African country of Zimbabwe. I thought to myself, why don’t we do that in America?”

Green was a young tech entrepreneur interested in finding a solution for the transport problems he saw in his hometown of Los Angeles, a densely populated California city of almost 4 million people. He wondered why so many people, including himself, wasted so much time stuck in traffic jams. He concluded it was because each car on the road carried just one or two passengers, especially in morning and evening rush-hour traffic.

“Why can’t people share cars when going in the same direction?” he wondered.
Then, whilst traveling on holiday in Zimbabwe, Green noticed that cars coming from high density townships were always full, and asked why:lyft get a ride in minutes

“We give each other lifts!” one Zimbabwean driver explained.

“You mean it’s a kind of ‘ride share’?”

“Yes!”

“Do they charge?”

“Yes, of course, we charge each other.”

The young entrepreneur headed back with this idea to solve an American problem. His solution was to build a software “App” which helps you find a “lift” from someone driving in your direction!

In 2006 Green co-founded his first ride-sharing company, Zimride, which grew to become the largest ride-sharing community across the USA! In 2013 Zimride was acquired by Enterprise, the international rental car agency.

In 2012 he co-founded his new company, Lyft, which this year was already valued at about $2.5bn by top investors including the likes of Carl Ichan!

 

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