Lyft announces plan to launch in Toronto in December

Pablo Tucker
November 13, 2017

"Lyft has grown considerably this past year, and Toronto was a no brainer for the company's first worldwide launch".

USA ride-sharing startup Lyft said Monday it is launching next month in Toronto, the first city in what is expected to be an worldwide expansion for the Uber rival.

Last year, city council voted in favour of a package of regulations that effectively legalized ridesharing services in Toronto.

The Canadian city is Lyft's first outside the U.S.

The company has been US-focused and in many cases has avoided the controversy that swirled around Uber as its larger rival expanded to dozens of countries overseas.

As part of its made-in-Silicon-Valley-type Toronto pitch, Lyft says, "Wherever we are, we know it matters how you get there, so we've got our toques on".

Lyft has been expanding in the USA market as Uber's image has taken a hit in recent months.

This year, Lyft has raised $1.6bn in financing, with contributions from Alphabet's investment arm and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board, among others. It has partnerships with Ford and General Motors, as well as global ride-hailing apps, such as India's Ola.

In June, the company ousted its co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, who has a net worth of $5.1billion according to Forbes, after a female former engineer wrote a blog detailing how she was propositioned by her boss.

Uber also has been embroiled in a fight in Quebec over the province's rules for ride-hailing services.

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