Alphabet Considering Investment in Lyft of $1 Billion

Alphabet Considers Lyft Investment of About $1 Billion

The sources, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the $1 billion investment could either come from Google or Capital G, Alphabet's private-equity arm.

The investment would signal a change in alliance, as Alphabet also holds shares in Uber - Lyft's biggest competitor - through its GV venture capital arm. The round valued the company at $7.5 billion, up from $5.5 billion at Lyft's previous financing more than a year earlier. Two months later Lyft announced it would start developing an autonomous platform as a "core" part of its business and that it'd begin licensing the tech out to hardware manufacturers (think: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler). Vancouver could be a challenge, given the fact that it is situated in British Columbia, the province which does not allow any ride-sharing services to operate. Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit, Waymo, has sued Uber claiming that an engineer who left Waymo for Uber stole and shared proprietary information. Like Uber, Lyft believes self-driving cars will be a boon to ride-sharing, and is moving aggressively to develop the technology. In July, Lyft announced plans to launch an in-house self-driving vehicle division as well.

Google and Lyft declined to comment for this story.

Ride-sharing in Canada is now monopolized by Uber, so bringing in Lyft would definitely cause some tensions between the United States operated companies. This would make it an even bigger thorn on the side of Uber, which is in a legal battle with Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo. Uber recently kicked out CEO Travis Kalanick and replaced him with Dara Khosrowshahi after slew of allegations of sexual harassment, sexism and other inappropriate behavior within the company.

Uber is trying to develop the technology and commercialize it itself, but Waymo and Lyft could divide the work.

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