Today Lyft, the ridesharing service that pairs amateur drivers with passengers via a mobile app, unveiled a new program aimed at businesses looking to help their employees get around. Companies can now purchase Lyft credits that can be used exclusively for commuting or for other company-mandated travel. The program has recruited 29 launch partners so far, including Adobe, Yelp and Stripe.
According to Lyft, which has raised more than $330 million in venture funding, these credits can be adjusted to fit different corporate transportation policies and needs. For example, Stripe is only using the credits to offer rides to employees who work late in their main office, while Yelp has signed up to give all of its employees a ride to the annual company holiday party.
Lyft's B2B initiative also incorporates the app's recently introduced Lyft Line carpooling option to help reduce commuting costs and traffic. Lyft Line works by pairing users on similar routes and consolidating their trips into a single ride.
On the day Lyft unveiled Line in August, rival Uber also introduced its own plans for a carpooling option, called Uber Pool. The two startups, the Coke and Pepsi of the burgeoning ridesharing sector, have a history of coming out with similar products and then quarreling over who had the idea first. In the case of going after corporate travel: It launched a program called Uber for Business all the way back in July.
For all the fist bumps and kitten deliveries, there's nothing cuddly about the competition between the two. Lyft is currently suing its former COO, Travis VanderZanden, alleging he breached confidentiality agreements and took sensitive company information with him when he left to join Uber. Meanwhile, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently admitted that he attempted to scuttle Lyft's latest fundraising round by whispering in investors' ears that they would soon have a better opportunity with his company.