John Zimmer is the co-founder and president of Lyft, an on-demand transportation company, which he founded with Logan Green in 2012.
Zimmer grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2006, Zimmer graduated first in his class at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration where he was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity. After graduation, Zimmer worked as an analyst in real estate finance at Lehman Brothers in New York City.
Zimmer left Lehman Brothers three months before it declared bankruptcy. In 2007, while Zimmer was working at Lehman Brothers, he and Logan Green founded Zimride, a ridesharing platform across college campuses.
After leaving his job at Lehman Brothers, Zimmer moved to Silicon Valley with Green to work on Zimride full-time. Lyft was launched in the summer of 2012 as a service of Zimride. The change from Zimride to Lyft was the result of a hackathon that sought a means of daily engagement with its users, instead of once or twice a year. In May 2013, Zimmer and Green officially changed the name of the company from Zimride to Lyft. Zimmer did not take a salary during the first three years of Lyft's operation, and he and Green worked on the company out of an apartment they shared.
In June 2013, Lyft completed a $60 million Series C venture financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing its total amount raised to $83 million. In July 2013, Lyft sold Zimride to Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, enabling the company to focus exclusively on the growth of Lyft. In April 2014, Lyft completed a $250 million Series D financing round led by Coatue, Alibaba, and Andreessen Horowitz, bringing its total amount raised to $332.5 million. In January 2016, Lyft announced the closing of a 1 billion Series F financing round led by GM, which contributed $500 million of the total, bringing its total amount raised to date to $2.01 billion. On April 11, 2017, Lyft closed a $600 million Series G financing round which included investors such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and PSP Investments. On December 5, 2017, Lyft announced a Series H financing round worth $1.5 billion led by Alphabet Inc.
Features and users
In August 2014, Lyft introduced Lyft Line, a ridesharing product that utilizes its existing driver network to transport passengers going the same direction at the same time. To incentivize riding together, Lyft Line offers passengers discounted costs. This feature harkens back to Zimmer and Green’s original goal for Zimride.
As of 2017, Lyft is available to 95% of the U.S. population and in Toronto.
Zimmer is married. He met his wife while studying abroad in Seville, Spain. They have a daughter named Penélope, who was born in December 2015. Zimmer supports the ACLU.