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Lyft Gets $1 Billion to Fight Uber With Alphabet-Led Investment

20 October 2017, 12:58 | Gina Pena

Alphabet leads $1 billion Lyft investment

Lyft has more self-driving partnerships than Uber

Lyft also points out in its blog post that less than 0.5% of the USA population actually uses ride-sharing services, meaning that room for growth is substantial.

GV, another Alphabet investment arm focused on venture capital, co-led a more than $250 million investment in Uber in 2013.

Bloomberg, citing unnamed people "familiar with the matter", on Thursday reported that Alphabet has been talking with Lyft in recent weeks about making a "potential investment" in the rideshare company.

The news isn't all that surprising considering Alphabet's self-driving auto unit Waymo in May announced a partnership with Lyft to bring autonomous vehicle technology to the masses. Lyft's new capital infusion follows a $600 million funding round in April. But relations between Uber and Google's parent company have likely soured in general now that Alphabet's Waymo self-driving company is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Uber over allegedly stolen trade secrets regarding LiDAR tech.

CapitalG partner David Lawee will join the company's board, Lyft said, bringing it to a total of 10 directors.

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Spokespeople for Lyft and Alphabet have said the latest investment will not have any bearing on the Waymo partnership. Last year, Alphabet executive David Drummond stepped down from the Uber board as the relationship soiled.

Google's self-driving vehicle spin-off Waymo is suing Uber in federal court, alleging that its former ally recruited some of its top engineers as part of an elaborate scheme to steal its trade secrets.

"It is another punch by Alphabet at Uber", said Erik Gordon, an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Google's parent company has reportedly been considering investing heavily in Lyft since at least September.

"We will go public when it's right for us", said Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna.



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