Lyft may or may not eventually launch in Australia, apparently
On the phone Tuesday, Lokhandwala maintained the party line: The company is ruthlessly focused on America, despite rumours to the contrary. “There is still a lot of work we have to do in the U.S,” she said. “Our investors are happy for us to continue to focus here.”
And fair enough, it does have a lot of work to do: Lokhandwala said Lyft completed more than 162 million rides in the U.S. in 2016, but according to Quartz, Uber booked 78 million in December alone. Lyft is shaping up to be extra aggressive in 2017, quickly meeting its goal of expanding to at least 100 new cities by March.
Still, Lyft’s America-focused rhetoric obscures a few key deals. Although Lokhandwala couldn’t comment on the fine details, Lyft does enjoy international partnerships with some of the largest local ride hailing companies in Australia’s region.
In China, it’s linked up with famed Uber slayer Didi Chuxing, which also made a small, undisclosed investment in Lyft in 2015. In India, it partners with Ola, and in southeast Asia, with Grab. This arrangement integrates the apps, allowing users to find rides whenever they travel in those markets.
That’s not really being elusive. It’s saying we may or may not launch at some point, but we’re not launching right now. I don’t think she could have been clearer, even if she had more information to share.