Lyft gets $1bn boost from Alphabet's investment fund

Angelica Greene
October 21, 2017

After years of a turbulent relationship, culminating in a lawsuit, it was just announced that Alphabet would be investing $1 billion on Lyft.

Lyft has gained market share in the U.S. this year as Uber suffered from executive turnover and self-inflicted wounds, including a protest over the company's ties to the Trump administration.

"Ridesharing is still in its early days and we look forward to seeing Lyft continue its impressive growth", said David Lawee, a CapitalG partner who will join the company's board.

Those relationships are further complicated by how Uber is dealing with a lawsuit filed by Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit that is owned by Alphabet. Lyft seized the moment, donating to the American Civil Liberties Union and issuing a string of progressive political statements.

Alphabet's investment ratchets up the high-stakes battle for supremacy in the ride-hailing industry. Nothing came of the meeting, but the company restarted conversations during the previous year, in the period leading up to Transport for London's bombshell ruling declaring Uber not fit and proper to hold a private hire license.

But Maris and other Uber investors are conflicted, saying the company still has the potential to be worth $100 billion or more.

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Uber has appointed a new chief, Dara Khosrowshahi, and is now trying to learn from its missteps while pursuing his goal of taking the company public in the next 18-36 months. Uber has been valued at as much as $70bn. The new financing could help to fund the project.

Alphabet's Lyft investment shows that the biggest companies in the self-driving space are happy to spread their money and attention out for multiple projects that are ostensibly working toward the same goal. Alphabet sued Uber for stealing its autonomous vehicle trade secrets in a highly publicised case set to go to court in December. SoftBank wants to buy between $7 billion and $10 billion in shares from Uber employees and investors. Ride-hailing supremacy in the U.S. is still up for grabs, with Alphabet placing its latest bet on Lyft, while SoftBank backs Uber.

A driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his front windshield drops off a customer in downtown Los Angeles.

In September, we found out that Alphabet was possibly about to invest in the ride-hailing company Lyft.

There have also been reports pointing to Lyft finally embarking on an global expansion, starting in Canada.

Other reports by GizPress

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