Alphabet invests $1 billion in Lyft

John Zimmer

CapitalG, an investment arm within Google-parent Alphabet, will lead a $1 billion funding round for Lyft, the companies said on Thursday.

Despite its previous relationship with Uber, or perhaps because of it, Google has forged a close bond with Lyft this year, with Waymo signing a deal to work on self-driving auto technology with Lyft.

'2017 has been an important year for the Lyft community. GV invested in Uber in 2013 but has since had a strained relationship with the ride-hailing company, as Uber began to develop autonomous cars and compete directly with Alphabet. David Drummond, Alphabet's chief legal officer, took a board seat.

U.S. ridesharing giant Lyft announced Thursday it has received a $1 billion investment led by the venture arm of Google parent Alphabet, to help ramp up its challenge to market leader Uber.

Google has chose to take a Lyft. Alphabet sued Uber for stealing its autonomous vehicle trade secrets in a highly publicized case set to go to court in December. But the relationship fractured as Uber started working on self-driving cars in competition with Waymo. That company has been valued at as much as $60 billion. Microsoft invested in Facebook.

Lyft had raised $600 million at a $7.5 billion valuation in April this year. As Axios's Dan Primack reports, Uber's most recent formal report placed its valuation around $60 billion, but SoftBank originally proposed pricing Uber as low as $50 billion.

The ride-hailing wars just got even messier. In March 2016, Google built an "Uber tab" inside its Maps app.

In September, anonymous tipsters leaked word that Lyft Inc. may be looking to raise capital through an initial public offering scheduled for as early as 2018.

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