Google's Venture Arm Invests In Lyft As Anti-Uber Alliance Grows

Google's Venture Arm Invests In Lyft As Anti-Uber Alliance Grows

Google's Venture Arm Invests In Lyft As Anti-Uber Alliance Grows

Lyft has been expanding in the USA market as Uber's image has taken a hit in recent months. The company was reported to be raising a new $1 billion round, with Alphabet involved, back in September.

Spokespeople for Lyft and Alphabet have said the latest investment will not have any bearing on the Waymo partnership.

Ride-hailing company Lyft has raised $1 billion in a new round of funding led by Google's CapitalG, the tech giant's growth-focused investment fund. But this year, Lyft has closed the valuation and market-share gap. CapitalG partner David Lawee will also join Lyft's board as part of the transaction. Lyft last week said that its drivers will use Google Maps for in-app navigation. Uber began heavily recruiting Google employees for a number of divisions within the company and Google chief legal officer David Drummond stepped down from Uber's board a year ago as the two companies began racing to develop autonomous vehicle technology.

Last year, Alphabet executive David Drummond stepped down from the Uber board.

The big investment comes as Uber and Google's Waymo are embroiled in fierce litigation over intellectual property.

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"It is another punch by Alphabet at Uber", said Erik Gordon, an entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. The latter company ranks as the largest privately-held firm in the world with a valuation of $68 billion.

"It is completely rational to me as an investor to take all of the money off the table now given all of the drama, all of the toxicity, all of the DOJ investigations", he said. On paper, Uber remains the far more valuable company.

Uber, meanwhile, is trying to rebound from a series of scandals that exploded in early 2017, when a former engineer for the company wrote a blog post detailing her experiences with sexual harassment and retaliation there, and which continued even after Kalanick's exit.

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

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