Lyft Profitable in Chicago, Los Angeles, CEO Green Says

Lyft Inc. is profitable in larger U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco as the ride-sharing service presses to expand elsewhere, Chief Executive Officer Logan Green said.

Lyft raised $530 million this month from investors including the Japanese shopping company Rakuten Inc., after receiving $250 million last year in an investment round led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The closely held ride service is engaged in a fierce race against its larger, better-funded competitor Uber Technologies Inc., which is valued at $40 billion. While both face competition as they seek to grow from regional companies like GrabTaxi Holdings Pte in southeast Asia and Didi Dache in China, Green criticized Uber for the way it has hired some of Lyft’s executives and drivers.

“They’ve crossed a handful of lines,” he said Monday during a speech at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas. “We have completely different visions for the world and we operate very differently.”

A spokesman for Uber couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Lyft and Uber’s products have evolved in sync. For example, both announced carpool services within hours of each other last year.

Lyft’s service, called Lyft Line, now represents the majority of the company’s rides in its home city of San Francisco, Green said. Uber’s service is called “Uber Pool.”

“They announced on the same day without a product and followed us into the market,” he said.

Green said Lyft is working with cities to draft regulations more supportive of the ride-sharing industry and he expects to see new rules in 30 jurisdictions this year.

The CEO emphasized the car service’s attempt to reach out to women, saying almost half of its employees with the title of director or higher are women, 30 percent of the drivers are women and women make up a majority of Lyft’s passengers.

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