Lyft plans new R&D center for Prague, but no local ridesharing services

The app-based American ridesharing and e-bike rental service joins many other firms tapping into Czechia's tech-talent pool. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 10.07.2023 10:30:00 (updated on 10.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Lyft, a major rival of Uber in the North American market, is set to open a new research and development center in Prague, news site E15 reported. The ride-hailing giant, whose stocks are traded on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange, aims to establish the Czech Republic as one of its primary engineering hubs without launching its ridesharing or e-scooter services in Czechia at this time.

Similar to Uber and other local players like Bolt and Czech-based Liftago, Lyft specializes in on-demand taxi services facilitated through its mobile application. In addition to car rides, Lyft also operates a fleet of app-based bikes and scooters. While currently limited to the United States and Canada, Lyft has been strategically expanding its R&D capabilities beyond its core markets.

The decision to launch a development center in Prague highlights Lyft's commitment to innovation and technological advancements. By tapping into Prague's pool of skilled engineers and tech talent, the company aims to bolster its capabilities in areas such as software development, data analysis, and artificial intelligence.

With this move, Lyft joins the growing list of tech companies establishing a presence in Czechia's thriving tech ecosystem. Both Prague and Brno have become hubs for tech innovation, attracting major players from around the globe, including Microsoft and Google.

This is due to a combination of several highly ranked universities with tech programs plus lower operating costs for tech centers thanks to lower wages and lower office rental prices than in the U.S. or Western Europe.

Last October, investment advice site the Motley Fool pointed out that Lyft spends a higher percentage of its revenue on R&D than its rival Uber. "Lyft stock isn't likely to rise until the company curbs its administrative, research, and development spending in a big way," the Motley Fool said. In the second quarter of 2022, Lyft spent 11.2 percent of its revenue on R&D, while Uber spent 5.3 percent. If Lyft could scale back its R&D spending, it would have a chance of achieving and maintaining profitability, they added.

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