- Logan Green and John Zimmer cofounded Lyft, then called Zimride, in 2008 after meeting on Facebook.
- Zimride started out as a side project before the founders moved to Silicon Valley and focused on bringing the ride-sharing service to college campuses.
- Lyft officially launched in 2012, and Green and Zimmer sold Zimride to Enterprise.
- Now, Lyft is going public at a valuation of about $29 billion with shares opening at $87.24 apiece.
Before they met, Lyft cofounders Logan Green and John Zimmer, both self-proclaimed transportation geeks, each started small car-sharing programs on their respective college campuses.
Now, Lyft is going public with a valuation of about $29 billion, Business Insider’s Rebecca Ungarino reported, with shares trading at $87.24 apiece.
Green and Zimmer met on Facebook through a mutual friend while Zimmer was working at Lehman Brothers in New York City and Green was still a college student. Together, they started Lyft’s precursor, called Zimride, in 2008.
Lyft’s IPO won’t make the pair overnight billionaires, but it will almost certainly contribute to an influx of new millionaires in San Francisco over the course of 2019 as several high-profile tech startups plan to go public.
Here’s how Green and Zimmer went from organizing carpools on college campuses to running a $29 billion company.
Before starting Lyft, both cofounders started car-sharing programs on their college campuses.
Logan Green, who grew up in California, was attending the University of California Santa Barbara. John Zimmer, who came from Greenwich, a wealthy Connecticut suburb, was a student at Cornell University in New York.
Now-CEO Logan Green started a car-sharing program on campus at the University of California Santa Barbara, after he became frustrated by California’s public transportation and traffic.
Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW
"He built the first car-sharing program at UC Santa Barbara, before Zipcar was there," Zimmer told Pando. "He built it from scratch. He got the attention of the local transit board and they elected him to the transit board. He was the youngest member and he was the only person who rode the bus on the transit board."
Zimmer, who was studying at Cornell University, started car sharing on his drives home over school breaks.
John Sciulli/Getty Images for Lyft)
"I was driving from Upstate New York to New York City and all around me were these empty seats," he told Forbes.
Zimmer was also inspired by one of his college classes called "Green Cities," when his professor ended his first lecture by saying: "Our population density in our cities is rising rapidly. For the first time in history, today more people live in cities than not. The infrastructures that exist in our cities were built decades before these two patterns were true, and if we don’t do something about it, we’re going to have major economic, environmental, and social challenges going forward."
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