Personnel

Lyft Taps Google Veteran As It Goes After Business Market

Lyft

Lyft, the ride-hailing startup competing against Uber, has hired Manish Gupta, a Google veteran, as vice president of engineering.

According to a report citing Lyft, Gupta was tapped to build Lyft’s business platforms, including enterprise, partnerships and healthcare. He will work with Ran Makavy, the head of Lyft’s ride-share technology team, CTO Chris Lambert and Katie Dill, the company’s vice president of design. The report noted that Gupta will also be in charge of the employees developing payments, working on fraud prevention and privacy.

Prior to joining Lyft, Gupta was a Google employee since 2002, most recently heading up its Google Ads platform. He was also in charge of building AdSense for TV, video and display ads, as well as the billing and payment systems for Google’s publishing and advertising customers.

By hiring Gupta, Lyft is hoping to tap into his knowledge of building partnerships, an area on which Lyft is increasingly focusing. Some of Lyft’s current partners include Starbucks, LAX, JetBlue, Delta and Allstate, to name a few. The company is looking to beef up partnerships with hospitals and doctor’s offices, noted the report.

Earlier in August, Lyft announced it has experienced 221 percent year-over-year growth between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018 in the corporate travel arena; Q2 2018 alone saw 25 percent quarterly growth in this segment. One-quarter of Fortune 1000 companies use Lyft Business (including most of the Fortune 50 companies).

The ride-hailing startup pointed to several initiatives that have helped to expand its corporate travel presence, including its recent partnership with American Express Global Business Travel as well as T&E firms like Concur and Expensify. Lyft’s rewards program is also driving business adoption, providing 25 percent of the segment’s quarterly growth. The program provides $5 in Lyft credit for every five rides taken under a Lyft Business profile.

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