Lyft president says ridesharing service isn't looking to sell, blames Uber for rumors

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Ridesharing service Lyft is not actively looking for a buyer, though it has been approached by interested parties in the past, according to the company's president.




"Lyft is not seeking a buyer," John Zimmer told Business Insider. "Getting approached and then having it characterized as us wanting to sell the business and failing to do so is a large mischaracterization. If the company is approached, it doesn't mean the company is looking."

Last week Bloomberg and the New York Times reported that the company had approached or held talks with a range of companies -- including Apple, Amazon, GM, Google, Uber, and Didi Chuxing -- but was unable to cement a deal. In June, the Wall Street Journal noted that Lyft had hired a Qatalyst Partners, a firm which could either find a buyer or compare possible bids.

Occasional takeover offers are part of the "normal course of business," and the company simply reviews anything that might be of real interest, Zimmer said.

The executive notably charged that Lyft's chief rival, Uber, was responsible for spreading rumors, making special reference to the Bloomberg report. He didn't elaborate on the matter, but on Sunday an anonymous source told The Verge that Lyft was angry with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for discussing Lyft's valuation with investors.

The ridesharing/ride-hailing industry has become an object of intense scrutiny, not just because of its growing size, legal issues, and pay concerns, but because both automakers and high-tech companies are beginning to enter the mix with self-driving technology in mind. Uber already has some self-driving SUVs entering service, and Ford is planning to join the industry in 2021.

If Apple bought Lyft, it would be likely be an overt sign of the company's plans for the "Apple Car", also expected in 2021. The company has already invested $1 billion into China's Didi Chuxing, without sharing any explicit reasons why.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 115member
    I'm not surprised. Kalanick is an untrustworthy a-hole. Uber is here in London, but given the dirty tricks this company plays, I'm never going to use them. I'm surprised some of my friends actually use them. Uber is a massive company, headed by a d!ck, that acts like a d!ck.
    ronn
  • Reply 2 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    sog35 said:
    Uber playing dirty again.

    Does not this company have any ethics?
    It doesn't appear that way.

    Making plans to fire their entire work force with robots.
    This isn't an example of that. Self-driving cars are happening and they are safer, which means this is the future. Additionally, automobiles will still need a pilot, just like commercial airplanes still need a pilot (and a co-pilot) even when they have "auto-pilot." Eventually, driverless vehicles will occur outside of mass transit and commercial highway situation, but that's still pretty far away.

    Finally, Uber isn't in the employing drivers business, it's in the vehicle for hire business. The drivers are a cost center, and is not unlike any other business that tries to reduce the high cost of employees when met with a more efficient method. Are you upset that the Internet and search engine companies put door-to-door encyclopedia salesman out of business? I'm not, and I doubt you are either. What about the iPhone, Mac, and iTunes [Music] Store beckoning the fall of many industries and jobs because Apple used technology to make things better for the customer? Again, I'm not and I doubt you are upset with Apple's success with ushering new technologies.
    edited August 2016 fastasleepnolamacguypscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,231member

    I wonder if Lyft's CEO thought maybe it was his investors looking for a buyer, would not be the first time a company was sold from under its founders especially when the founder is not longer the majority share holder. Maybe the investors are getting tired of waiting for a return and have decided to cut bait and move elsewhere.

  • Reply 4 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,231member
    Soli said:
    sog35 said:
    Uber playing dirty again.

    Does not this company have any ethics?
    It doesn't appear that way.

    Making plans to fire their entire work force with robots.
    This isn't an example of that. Self-driving cars are happening and they are safer, which means this is the future. Additionally, automobiles will still need a pilot, just like commercial airplanes still need a pilot (and a co-pilot) even when they have "auto-pilot." Eventually, driverless vehicles will occur outside of mass transit and commercial highway situation, but that's still pretty far away.

    Finally, Uber isn't in the employing drivers business, it's in the vehicle for hire business. The drivers are a cost center, and is not unlike any other business that tries to reduce the high cost of employees when met with a more efficient method. Are you upset that the Internet and search engine companies put door-to-door encyclopedia salesman out of business? I'm not, and I doubt you are either. What about the iPhone, Mac, and iTunes [Music] Store beckoning the fall of many industries and jobs because Apple used technology to make things better for the customer? Again, I'm not and I doubt you are upset with Apple's success with ushering new technologies.


    I can not believe how many times you contradicted yourself. Are the drivers employees or not. Driver are just a cost of doing business as will be anything which drives. Whether Uber pays a driver or owns a self driving car there are going to be cost, today Uber does not pay for fuel if they own the cars they have to pay for fuel whether gas or electricity, Gas has 99% uptime verse electrical cars will only have 50% to 75% up time.

    You're correct Uber wants its cake and eat it too, They want drivers who are independent workers who use uber to find passengers, but they do not want the headache of dealing with people. Yeah robot are so much more reliable and do not complain. Self driving maybe coming but it is a long way off, there are loads of issues which computer or Machine learning can not handle. Machine learning works great from learning from past experiences, what machine learning is really bad with is dealing with new situations. In the mean time Uber will have to rely on drivers their largest cost, and some how figure out how to make money. I do not see the market giving them the Amazon pass on turning a profit. At some point they need to turn a profit or the investors will want out.

  • Reply 5 of 18
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 244member
    Soli said:

    Additionally, automobiles will still need a pilot, just like commercial airplanes still need a pilot (and a co-pilot) even when they have "auto-pilot." 
    Ford doesn't agree with you...

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/16/12504300/ford-autonomous-car-ride-sharing-2021

    With no steering wheel and no pedals, calling the occupant of one of Ford's autonomous cars a "pilot" seems incorrect.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 6 of 18
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,190member
    Company presidents always tell the truth, right?
  • Reply 7 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    maestro64 said:
    Soli said:
    It doesn't appear that way.

    This isn't an example of that. Self-driving cars are happening and they are safer, which means this is the future. Additionally, automobiles will still need a pilot, just like commercial airplanes still need a pilot (and a co-pilot) even when they have "auto-pilot." Eventually, driverless vehicles will occur outside of mass transit and commercial highway situation, but that's still pretty far away.

    Finally, Uber isn't in the employing drivers business, it's in the vehicle for hire business. The drivers are a cost center, and is not unlike any other business that tries to reduce the high cost of employees when met with a more efficient method. Are you upset that the Internet and search engine companies put door-to-door encyclopedia salesman out of business? I'm not, and I doubt you are either. What about the iPhone, Mac, and iTunes [Music] Store beckoning the fall of many industries and jobs because Apple used technology to make things better for the customer? Again, I'm not and I doubt you are upset with Apple's success with ushering new technologies.


    I can not believe how many times you contradicted yourself. Are the drivers employees or not. Driver are just a cost of doing business as will be anything which drives. Whether Uber pays a driver or owns a self driving car there are going to be cost, today Uber does not pay for fuel if they own the cars they have to pay for fuel whether gas or electricity, Gas has 99% uptime verse electrical cars will only have 50% to 75% up time.

    You're correct Uber wants its cake and eat it too, They want drivers who are independent workers who use uber to find passengers, but they do not want the headache of dealing with people. Yeah robot are so much more reliable and do not complain. Self driving maybe coming but it is a long way off, there are loads of issues which computer or Machine learning can not handle. Machine learning works great from learning from past experiences, what machine learning is really bad with is dealing with new situations. In the mean time Uber will have to rely on drivers their largest cost, and some how figure out how to make money. I do not see the market giving them the Amazon pass on turning a profit. At some point they need to turn a profit or the investors will want out.

    1) Because a company has hired employees (or 1099, self-employees subcontractors, as the case may be), it DOES NOT MEAN their business of getting people jobs. They are in the business of transporting people from point A to B (and delivering food). This is not a contradiction once you have even the faintest concept of business.

    2) Who said there will be no cost involved? Clearly they investing heavily—just like Apple, Google, Tesla, and many others in the tech and automotive field—in automated driving, which means, by the very use of the word investing, there is a cost. The point of the cost is to increase profits in the future, which, in terms of self-driving cars, is by reducing costs. Again, this shouldn't be a strange concept to you.

    3) Paying for fuel? LOL Clearly you've missed how a) automation can reduce fuel consumption (and wear and tear), and b) the existence of electric cars. As for uptime, what is the uptime for a Uber driver?

    4) If Lyft was doing this, you and Sog would be on board, but because it's Uber and you have don't have the ability to look at a situation through an objective lens, you assume the concept is for some nefarious purpose. Maybe a little less fantasy and more reality would help you out. The same goes for Google and other companies. Have some self-respect.

    5) Ask yourself this: If automation is such a poor driver of industry, then why the fuck is automation such an important part of industry?


    PS: Try not to destroy any textile machines today¡
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 8 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    Company presidents always tell the truth, right?
    Isn't there something about a public company, or maybe a company with investors, being required to look into every offer for the sake of the transparency, even if they aren't planning to sell?
  • Reply 9 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member

    bsimpsen said:
    Soli said:

    Additionally, automobiles will still need a pilot, just like commercial airplanes still need a pilot (and a co-pilot) even when they have "auto-pilot." 
    Ford doesn't agree with you...

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/16/12504300/ford-autonomous-car-ride-sharing-2021

    With no steering wheel and no pedals, calling the occupant of one of Ford's autonomous cars a "pilot" seems incorrect.
    WTF is wrong with people's reading comprehension today? What part of still is confusing when you post an article where Ford hopes to have a viable product by 2021? If you're assuming that even a single driver-less prototype negates use of still, then that hasn't been the case since long before Google X and DARPA were working on the problem for railless driving where the vehicle has to intelligently navigate unplanned terrain.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    The media are the ones that took the rumor and ran with it, without checking facts.
    cali
  • Reply 11 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    bdkennedy said:
    The media are the ones that took the rumor and ran with it, without checking facts.
    That seemed to be the unfortunate future of so-called journalism. I can't see how this will get better in time.
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I hope Apple invests more in Didi, comes to the U.S. and fixes all these problems.

    AppleCar, higher wages, innovative service.

    These 3 will destroy anyone who isn't Didi. Who wouldn't wanna ride in a bad ass AppleCar with the touch of a button?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    sog35 said:
    Soli said:
    That seemed to be the unfortunate future of so-called journalism. I can't see how this will get better in time.
    hate to say it but suing seems to be the only solution.
    It worked with Gawker, but that's because they released a sex tape, right?

    Or send some muscle to the writers home.
    Too bad shame doesn't work with companies.


    edited August 2016
  • Reply 14 of 18
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,432member
    Just a few comments:
    - People or the media can call it what they want I guess, but it isn't "ride sharing" - it is a taxi service, minus the medallions and other regulations.  Better service in almost all cases, and I am glad to see the taxi monopolies finally getting broken, but let's not pretend it is something other than what it is.   
    - Every day that I drive I now take note of all the somewhat unusual situations I see, and wonder how an autonomous vehicle would deal with them.  I probably see a few every week that I think might be challenging, with many variables that would be hard to program around.  Can the sensors read the signs (at speed) for a lane "serve" due to construction that day, with the cones not exactly well placed, and the lanes at lights messed up?  Power is out at the lights and drivers have to behave like a 4-way stop - but if too conservative, you will sit there forever.  Stuck behind a snow plow, but the lane right beside you is open with only a small bit of snow, yet you go nowhere.  Sooooo many corner cases
    - Driverless cars are no doubt the future, and tremendous progress has been made...but I still think the people/media/bloggers are hyping the short term way too much.  Nuclear fusion breakthroughs have been around the corner for decades.  Some technology has to be 99.999% right all the time, and getting to that can be really hard.
    - I can see a market for autonomous cars in very controlled areas - acting as shuttles in certain business sites, industrial parks, ...
  • Reply 15 of 18
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 244member
    Soli said:

    bsimpsen said:
    Soli said:

    Additionally, automobiles will still need a pilot, just like commercial airplanes still need a pilot (and a co-pilot) even when they have "auto-pilot." 
    Ford doesn't agree with you...

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/16/12504300/ford-autonomous-car-ride-sharing-2021

    With no steering wheel and no pedals, calling the occupant of one of Ford's autonomous cars a "pilot" seems incorrect.
    WTF is wrong with people's reading comprehension today? What part of still is confusing when you post an article where Ford hopes to have a viable product by 2021? If you're assuming that even a single driver-less prototype negates use of still, then that hasn't been the case since long before Google X and DARPA were working on the problem for railless driving where the vehicle has to intelligently navigate unplanned terrain.
    You wrote "will still"...

    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/simplefuture.html

    And you did not qualify the portion of automobiles to which your prognostication would apply. My reading comprehension isn't the issue.


    nolamacguy
  • Reply 16 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,535member
    3-months from now we'll see a story somewhere about Lyft being sold....
  • Reply 17 of 18
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 244member
    brucemc said:
    Just a few comments:
    - People or the media can call it what they want I guess, but it isn't "ride sharing" - it is a taxi service, minus the medallions and other regulations.  Better service in almost all cases, and I am glad to see the taxi monopolies finally getting broken, but let's not pretend it is something other than what it is.   
    - Every day that I drive I now take note of all the somewhat unusual situations I see, and wonder how an autonomous vehicle would deal with them.  I probably see a few every week that I think might be challenging, with many variables that would be hard to program around.  Can the sensors read the signs (at speed) for a lane "serve" due to construction that day, with the cones not exactly well placed, and the lanes at lights messed up?  Power is out at the lights and drivers have to behave like a 4-way stop - but if too conservative, you will sit there forever.  Stuck behind a snow plow, but the lane right beside you is open with only a small bit of snow, yet you go nowhere.  Sooooo many corner cases
    - Driverless cars are no doubt the future, and tremendous progress has been made...but I still think the people/media/bloggers are hyping the short term way too much.  Nuclear fusion breakthroughs have been around the corner for decades.  Some technology has to be 99.999% right all the time, and getting to that can be really hard.
    - I can see a market for autonomous cars in very controlled areas - acting as shuttles in certain business sites, industrial parks, ...
    I have my doubts about the adoption curve as well. But, unlike humans, the lessons learned from experience with edge cases will propagate to the entire fleet very quickly. It's not just AI that's at work here, it's also the virtually instantaneously sharing of experience amongst every node on the network. Half the value of Big Data is not the AI that's digging through it, it's the size of the data collection itself.

    I don't think autonomous cars need be right 99.999% (or whatever arbitrary percentage one chooses) of the time. They simply need to be right more often than we are, and not cause non autonomous car drivers to make more mistakes because they do not behave as expected. The moment insurance companies think people are riskier than AI, premiums will start adjusting our behavior.
    nolamacguy
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