Uber and Lyft have been working on parallel tracks for a very long time. Drivers moonlight for each companies, clients toggle between the 2 apps, and regardless of Lyft’s efforts to place itself as a “woke” different to Uber, the 2 corporations primarily function equivalent ride-sharing companies within the US.

After all, there’s loads to distinguish the 2 from each other. Uber is world, whereas Lyft solely operates in North America. Uber dominates ride-sharing, taking in roughly 70 % of US riders spending and leaving Lyft with the remaining. However this week’s earnings stories revealed a a lot sharper divergence between the 2 corporations than we’ve seen previously, particularly round facet hustles.

Uber’s principal facet hustle is supply. Meals and different supply bookings within the fourth quarter grew 33 % yr over yr. The corporate’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, instructed buyers that Uber’s supply enterprise reported its first quarterly revenue, together with supply within the US, and that “Uber Eats grew to become the fastest-growing supply participant in America.”

Lyft, in the meantime, has a small business-to-business supply operation however has no plans on making an attempt to deal with the a lot greater and riskier world of shopper supply. “As we’ve stated for a few years, we’re a transportation-focused firm,” Lyft president John Zimmer stated in his firm’s earnings name. “We wish to have one principal shopper that we’re constructing for. And once more, we won’t construct a consumer-facing market for groceries or meals.”

What Lyft has that Uber doesn’t, although, is a thriving micromobility enterprise. Lyft claims to be the largest electrical bike operator in North America because of its bike-share enterprise, together with the extraordinarily fashionable Citi Bike in New York Metropolis. How fashionable are we speaking? In line with Zimmer, Citi Bike was the “twenty fifth most-ridden transit community in the US.”

“To place this in context, final yr, extra individuals took rides on Citi Bikes than on BART, the Bay Space’s regional transit system,” he added.

The truth is, bike-share is a faster-growing enterprise for Lyft than ride-share. “Contemplate that in every quarter of 2021, the variety of riders utilizing our bikes and scooters along with ride-share constantly grew sooner than ride-share-only riders,” stated Zimmer.

Uber has largely deserted its two-wheeled operations, promoting its Soar bikes to Lime and ditching its electrical scooter enterprise as properly. Uber stays an investor in Lime, and clients can lease Lime’s e-bikes and mopeds via Uber’s app. However for all intents and functions, Uber is out of the micromobility sport.

One other key distinction between the businesses is their strategy to autonomous autos. Uber and Lyft had been each initially bullish about AVs, buying startups, hiring hundreds of engineers, and making huge guarantees about robotaxis on their platforms. However as prices ballooned and timelines stretched, each corporations ultimately determined to chop their losses. Uber offered its AV enterprise to Aurora in 2020, whereas Lyft divested its self-driving unit to Woven Planet, a subsidiary of Toyota, final yr.

However Lyft nonetheless sees a chance in remaining in shut proximity to the AV world. The corporate made a take care of Ford-backed Argo.ai to place a whole lot of the corporate’s autonomous autos on its platform. Zimmer stated he expects the partnership to scale to 1,000 autos throughout a number of markets by 2026.

“The Lyft community is a constantly bettering product, stemming from a decade of engineering investments in billions of real-world rides,” he added. “In consequence, AV suppliers are more and more working with us to assist advance and commercialize their know-how.”

There have been zero mentions of AVs in Uber’s earnings name — which shouldn’t come as a complete shock. One of many firm’s self-driving take a look at autos struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, again in 2017 in what many name the primary AV fatality. Federal investigators stated security lapses at Uber had been partially in charge for the dying. The corporate caught with its AV venture for a number of years after the incident earlier than ultimately deciding to divest itself totally.

It’s not mistaken to see Uber and Lyft as two sides of the identical coin. Each corporations nonetheless derive most of their income from car journeys. Each are extremely invested in subscription companies as a solution to construct loyalty amongst clients and stop app-switching. And each are nonetheless embroiled in tense debates over gig work and driver classification.

However this most up-to-date quarter revealed that the way forward for each corporations may very well be extra totally different than initially anticipated.

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