Friday, 24 November, 2017

Lyft In Talks For $1 Bln Investment From Google Parent Company

Lyft CEO Logan Green Lyft CEO Logan Green
Jo Caldwell | 16 September, 2017, 00:33

While representatives from Alphabet and Lyft have denied a comment on the potential investment, it wouldn't be a surprise if the rumors turn out to be true because the two companies already have a history.

Alphabet has been exploring closer ties with Lyft ever since it fell out with Uber. But Google's self-driving auto unit Waymo sued Uber earlier this year, alleging that a former Google engineer at Uber's self-driving vehicle outfit Otto stole Waymo's intellectual property.

It is unknown whether the billion dollar investment into Lyft will come from Google or Alphabet's private-equity arm CapitalG, but it is speculated that the investment is being driven by Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

Needless to say, if Google were now to invest such a large amount in Lyft, it would be a serious blow to Uber, which is also currently trying to secure more funding.

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Lyft has to date raised more than $2 billion in venture capital funding from sources such as General Motors, Andreessen Horowitz, Mayfield, Floodgate and activist investor Carl Icahn. They plan to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product-development efforts.

Lyft and Alphabet's friendly relationship ramped up last spring. Lyft has a big uphill battle to deal with from their competition with Uber. With a billion dollars in its wallet, Lyft could take advantage of this and seriously increase its market share in the USA, expand overseas, and give Uber a run for its money. The FBI is also reportedly investigating whether Uber created software, dubbed Hell, to illegally track the location and rates charged by Lyft drivers.

Canadians might have a new way to get around this year, as talks about popular ride-sharing service Lyft might expand into the Canadian market. Either way, this can't be good news for Uber.

It goes without saying that the autonomous driving space will see a spate of innovations in the next few years, both by technology companies and automakers, as well as by smaller startups. Interestingly, one of those companies was Alphabet.

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