The ride-sharing app Lyft is launching its newest service, Lyft for Work, today in an effort to bring in a new set of corporate clients. Lyft, which just announced that the company saw five-fold growth in both riders and revenue, launches the service with 29 initial partners including Adobe, Yelp, Stripe, Postmates, and Thumbtack and will be rolled out across all of Lyft's markets nationwide.
Using Lyft for Work, companies can now give employees a monthly credit to use Lyft or Lyft Line, the company's car-pooling service available in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The credits can be used to commute to work or to particular events and can be tailored to the specific needs of the client company. Stripe, for instance, has developed a monthly credit system that allows their employees to ride to and from the office after 7 p.m.
Companies using Lyft for Work simply buy a dollar amount of credits which expire at the end of the month. The companies will only be billed for the number of credits used.
Uber, Lyft's main competitor in most markets, rolled out a similar product earlier this year. Uber for Business allows employers to create a business or company Uber account to which they can add their employees and link them to the company's card. The employees can then toggle between their personal payment method and the company's payment on their own account. Uber initially launched with partners like Deutsche Bank, Salesforce, and Barclays America.
In New York, Uber is also looking to revamp its luxury black car service, Uber Black, for corporate clients. The company's goal is to make it the "first-class seat on an airplane, not just the exit row," general manger for New York Josh Mohrer told BuzzFeed News in an interview.
Uber Black, which has traditionally been marketed to appeal to corporate and high-end consumers, has been undercut recently by the company's Uber X offering — the lower cost and consequently higher demand for Uber X has left some Uber Black drivers making less money than Uber X drivers. In order to match Uber Black drivers' wages to their expenses (the cost of owning and operating an SUV or a luxury sedan), the company plans to roll out new Uber Black standards in New York in December.
Gett, another app-based car service company based only in New York in the U.S. market, is also working on corporate contracts and plans to roll out the option in 2015. Gett — which expects to be profitable in Q1 of 2015 — already offers the B2B service in London, Tel Aviv, and Moscow, where they serve Fortune 500 companies, Gett CEO Ron Srebro told BuzzFeed News in a previous interview.
Adobe is only offering Lyft as one of a few options for its employees' commute. It has not entered into a partnership with Lyft as previously stated.
Johana Bhuiyan is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bhuiyan reports on the sharing economy with a focus on ridesharing companies.
Contact Johana Bhuiyan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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