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Lyft valued at £1.6 billion following £353 million funding round

Ride-sharing service Lyft has finished another round of funding for $530 million (£353 million), valuing the company at $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion).

The funding round was lead by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, who invested $300 million (£200 million) for an 11.9 per cent stake in the company.

"Lyft is the future of the economy. By empowering the connections between people, the sharing economy will fundamentally change the service industry and merit society," Rakuten chief executive Hiroshi Mikitani said in a statement.

Lyft is offering various new ways to travel, including its prominent ride-sharing platform that saves customers money at the expense of a bit of time wasted picking up other passengers.

The ride-sharing service will use the new funds to move into 65 new markets, alongside future investment in Lyft Line, its ride-sharing program.

Uber - the rival mobile taxi service - recently completed two rounds of funding for $1.6 billion (£1.07 billion) and $1.2 billion (£870 million), valuing the company at over $40 billion (£26.70 billion).

This is a large gap in valuation, created due to the massive adoption rate of Uber in places like San Francisco, New York and London, where it has changing the entire taxi industry.

Uber seems to be paving the way for Lyft to enter these new markets, dealing with court cases, regulations and scrutiny, while Lyft simply awaits bans on mobile taxi services to be lifted before joining in.

It is not all sharing and caring for one another. Uber has been hit several times over bad business practices against Lyft, like calling cabs and cancelling at the last second to slow down drivers, and offering Lyft drivers bonuses to join Uber.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.