In a recent interview with Re/Code, the Chief Technology Officer of transportation aggregator Lyft reportedly said that the company is not looking to break into the local delivery market unlike its more well-known and often more controversial rival, Uber. According to three anonymous sources quoted by Re/Code, "at least a few" companies were interested in striking a deal with Lyft to get their products delivered door-to-door, but were denied by the San Franciso, CA-based company, as it is reportedly looking to consolidate its position in the transportation services industry before it looks to expand further. Lyft however, reportedly toyed with the idea of entering the sector at one stage, carrying out its own feasibility studies and even performing a trial run to assess the viability of the business, before deciding to maintain status quo for the time being.
In his aforementioned interview, Mr. Chris Lambert, the CTO of Lyft, revealed that the company doesn't want to move too fast, too soon. While referring to a recent stunt delivery of Starbucks iced coffee in partnership with Starbucks and Flavorpill, Mr. Lambert said, "It would be irresponsible to not look at it (the delivery business), but there's a big difference between doing a fun test and doing delivery". While Mr. Lambert was categorical in denying any immediate plans to get into the local delivery business, he chose not to get into details about the company's long-term strategies. The company had previously already ruled out any near-term plans about international expansion. Which may be somewhat understandable as Lyft has to be more careful about how much it exerts itself, as the company has only been able to raise about a fifth the venture capital funding as its bigger rival, Uber. Unlike Uber, who's been able to raise as much as five billion dollars in VC funding, Lyft has thus far raised about a billion dollars, meaning it is focusing on its core transportation service on its home-turf before it can expand to other markets and offer other services.
According to Re/code, this conservative approach from Lyft – ostensibly to not overexert itself – may actually end up hurting the company in the long run, as it could potentially be missing out on new revenue channels in an increasingly competitive industry. With companies actively seeking out partnerships with it – whilst rejecting Uber's advances – Lyft can potentially still make a break for it. In fact, one business owner apparently told Re/Code that he had turned down Uber's offer for a delivery partnership, but had Lyft been willing to sign-up, "The deal would already be done (by now)". Only time will tell if Lyft will take the hint and take the next step or if it will continue to maintain its stated stance in the near-future.