Uber’s losses are Lyft’s gains. The self-declared “friendly” ride-hailing company is raising at least $500 million in new funding at a valuation of $7.5 billion, Reuters reports. That values Lyft above the $5.5 billion it raised money at in January 2016, but below the $9-billion price tag the company reportedly sought in buyout talks last summer. Lyft declined to comment on Reuters’ report.
Lyft has capitalized on Uber’s scandal-ridden start to 2017. When outrage flared over Uber’s perceived ties to US president Donald Trump, Lyft donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (to be doled out over four years). When a former Uber engineer wrote about being sexually harassed, Lyft director of engineering Jill Wetzler spoke to USA Today College about being a powerful woman in tech.
There was already one data point to indicate the strategy is working. Lyft said it gained 5% ridership on Uber in one week in January, as a reported half-million Uber users sought to delete their accounts over the company’s perceived support of Trump’s executive actions on immigration. Lyft’s ability to close another half-billion dollars—or possibly more!—in funding should be a second indicator that its careful anti-Uber branding is working. The ride-hailing wars aren’t over yet.