Published: Fri, October 20, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Google parent leads $1B Lyft investment, deepening Uber rift

Google parent leads $1B Lyft investment, deepening Uber rift

The round was led by CapitalG, the growth investment fund of Alphabet that has also backed large tech companies such as home-renting platform Airbnb and payments firm Stripe.

Google was an early investor in Uber, but has had a complicated and stormy relationship with the embattled ride-hailing company, including a lawsuit alleging that a former Google executive stole self-driving vehicle technology and brought it to Uber.

The falling out dates back to past year when Kalanick became convinced that Waymo meant to deploy its robotic cars in a rival ride-hailing service.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is leading a $1 billion investment round in Lyft, the two companies announced Thursday.

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The influx of capital has the potential to further boost Lyft's momentum in the US while Uber tries to recover from a year full of PR crises, executive changes and legal scrutiny. It was last valued at almost $70 billion.

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

Ride-hailing company Lyft has raised a new $1 billion funding round, putting its post-money valuation at $11 billion total.

Alphabet also has ties to Uber through its second investment arm, GV, which backs young startups. Lawee was formerly Google's VP of corporate development.

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What's also interesting about this deal is that CapitalG was a backer for Uber early on in the company's life.

The deals come as Waymo accuses Uber of using autonomous technology that allegedly was stolen by an ex-Google engineer. Last year, Alphabet executive David Drummond stepped down from the Uber board as the relationship soiled.

Google parent company Alphabet's investment arm CapitalG is making a big bet on Lyft.

Even before the investment, Google had begun to align itself with Lyft.

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