Alphabet leads $1bn investment in Uber rival Lyft

20 Oct 20179 Shares

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Lyft car in New York. Image: Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock

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Internet giant puts its pedal to the metal as gig economy grows and grows.

Google’s parent company Alphabet has led a $1bn investment in ride-sharing company Lyft, a major rival to Uber in the US.

The investment round was made via Alphabet’s growth investment arm CapitalG. The deal values Lyft at $11bn and CapitalG partner David Lawee will join Lyft’s board.

‘The fact remains that less than 0.5pc of miles travelled in the US happen on rideshare networks. This creates a huge opportunity to best serve our cities’ economic, environmental and social futures’
– LYFT

Lyft is capitalising on the struggles of Uber which has had a leadership changes in the aftermath of various scandals. Earlier this month, Lyft completed its 500-millionth ride and now covers 95pc of the US population.

Gross bookings at Lyft – that is, revenue earned by drivers – grew by 25pc to $1bn in Q2 compared with $800m the previous year.

Keep that motor running, head out on the highway

Alphabet leads $1bn investment in Uber rival Lyft

Lyft co-founder Logan Green, CapitalG partner David Lawee and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer. Image: Lyft

The ride-sharing company also has its own ambitions in the realm of autonomous driving – as does Alphabet, whose Google X labs have been pioneering self-driving cars over the last decade.

CapitalG, formerly known as Google Capital, was an also an early investor in Uber and invested $258m in the company in 2013. That investment has since gained 14 times its original value, despite the relationship between Google and Uber souring and culminating in Alphabet subsidiary Waymo suing Uber over alleged IP theft.

“2017 has been an important year for the Lyft community,” the company said in its blog announcing the investment.

“Earlier this month, we completed our 500-millionth ride and our service is now available to 95pc of the US population – up from 54pc at the beginning of the year.

“While we’ve made progress towards our vision, we’re most excited about what lies ahead. The fact remains that less than 0.5pc of miles travelled in the US happen on rideshare networks. This creates a huge opportunity to best serve our cities’ economic, environmental and social futures.”

Lyft car in New York. Image: Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com