Lyft Gains on Uber in U.S. Business Travel, Doubling Share

(Bloomberg) -- Lyft Inc. made major strides with American business travelers, nearly doubling market share at the expense of the market leader, Uber Technologies Inc.

The San Francisco-based startup accounted for 19 percent of ride-hailing usage among business customers last quarter, up from 10 percent a year ago, according to data from Certify, a travel and expense software provider. Uber still has 81 percent of the market, but the trend suggests missteps by the company last year are taking a toll.

Uber said it’s working with more companies directly on expense billing, which wouldn’t be captured in Certify’s data. “We’ve also partnered with Concur, the largest global expense management platform, to deliver a seamless connection for situations where expenses are required,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Lyft said some of its customers use central billing as well. “We will carry this momentum into the rest of 2018 and remain focused on making business travel easy, accessible and affordable,” David Baga, Lyft’s chief business officer, wrote in an emailed statement.

Although Uber remains the leader with both U.S. businesses and general customers, the company is still reeling from a challenging 2017. Hundreds of thousands of users deleted their Uber applications in protest. Meanwhile, Lyft made a concerted effort to go after Uber’s corporate business, adding a black car service, striking partnerships and highlighting its friendlier reputation.

The ride-hailing industry continues to grow relative to taxis and rental cars. Just three years ago, rental cars represented half of business travel by ground. Today, Uber and Lyft hold 71 percent, with rental cars at 23 percent and taxis at 6 percent, according to Certify.

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