Uber’s mishaps have become Lyft’s lucky break. Not only did the second-most well known ride-sharing company recently enter negotiations to raise an additional $500 million in funding, but it also expanded its developer platform. The new Dispatch Developer Program is bound to spark entrepreneurial innovation.
Lyft has offered its APIs to developers since May of last year. The limitation was that developers could only create integrations that still required users to use the Lyft app from a smartphone. However, the new Dispatch Developer Program has changed that. The new APIs allow developers to integrate Lyft requests and schedule pick-ups via third-party apps, without requiring the Lyft app or even a smartphone.
The Dispatch Developer Program can offer great value-add for entrepreneurs, and according to Lyft’s blog, instead of billing the ride through the Lyft app, Lyft can bill a business directly.
The implications for small business entrepreneurs are endless. For example, an event planner can integrate Lyft into an event planning app to take attendees to and from events and parties—an extra feature that would give an advantage over competitors. Also, a beauty service that pairs customers with stylists could set pick-ups for stylists, to ensure they are on time for appointments.
The post on Lyft’s blog, titled Announcing the Dispatch Developer Program, mentions some other creative ways that the Dispatch Developer Program is currently being used by businesses:
“For instance, we’re working with partners who are providing solutions to car dealerships who want to provide courtesy rides for customers while their vehicles are in service.
Other partners include One Call Care Management and LogistiCare, who provide healthcare transportation service to those who are otherwise unable to drive or transport themselves. With Dispatch, the possibilities are endless; like One Call Care Management and LogistiCare, your customers don’t require a smartphone or the Lyft app to get around.”
For more information on Lyft’s Dispatch Developer Program, click here.