As Uber and Lyft raise increasingly large war chests, what about the other players in the car and ride sharing space?

Is there a credible 3rd player that can challenge Uber-Lyft, whether another startup such as Hailo or an incumbent livery company? Or is this now a two-horse race?

logo_smallFrom a venture capital financing standpoint, the car and ride-sharing market is made up of Uber, Lyft and everyone else. In fact, Lyft’s latest $250M Series D round from investors including Coatue Management, Alibaba and Third Point actually puts the San Francisco-based ride-sharing startup ahead of rival Uber on the funding front

The chart below highlights funding data for 10 venture-backed car-sharing and mobile taxi services that are actively operating in the U.S. Both Uber and Lyft have surpassed $300M in total funding. The dropoff in funding totals after these two is drastic with only Union Square Ventures-backed Hailo coming anywhere close to the $100M tally.

Is there a #3 player poised to raise a large round to challenge Uber and Lyft or is this a two-horse race already? If you remember the group buying craze, there was the trifecta of Groupon, LivingSocial and BuyWithMe. And back in the dot com days, there was and UrbanFetch and no third player. Also, worth remembering that both of those experiments didn’t end so well.


From a performance perspective, Lyft and Uber have also been extremely consistent performers atop the U.S. App Store ranks, compared to their counterparts which have not fared as well. As shown below, Uber has trended in the top 5 ‘Travel’ apps while Lyft has consistently ranked in the top 20 over the past six months.



(Note: Other reports have suggested Uber’s funding between $361 million and $405 million but we’ve used the amount Uber reported here on their blog)

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First published on CBInsights Blog, used with permission.

Photo Credit: Phillip Zakhour makes his living by ferrying people across San Francisco as a driver for Sidecar. John Green / Contra Costa Times/MCT