Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Google owner lends $1bn to Uber rival

Alphabet leads $1bn investment in Uber rival Lyft Lyft Bulks Up With $1 Billion in Funding -- WSJ
Laurie Berry | 20 October, 2017, 16:49

Lyft, the ride-hailing startup, raised $1 billion in fresh financing, led by Alphabet's (GOOG) venture capital arm CapitalG, as it aims for a potential initial public offering next year.

The investment in Lyft on the part of Google's parent underscores the complex and often confusing nature of partnerships between ride sharing, technology, and traditional automotive companies. The rumors have turned out to be true.

This latest investment brings Lyft's post-money valuation to $11bn, and comes just seven months after its last funding round, which brought in $600m in April.

This isn't surprising at all.

It's not like Google hasn't invested in Uber as well. It was formerly a Google's self-driving vehicle project and now is operating under the Alphabet. Not to forget that Alphabet also owns Waymo.

Alphabet is clearly interested in self-driving cars. Waymo and Lyft also aren't complete strangers given that they had earlier announced plans to explore options to develop self-driving cars. The company poured almost $250 million in Uber back in 2013.

Damage bill for California fires hit $1.3m
When adjusted for inflation, the Oakland Hills fire is believed the costliest fire in California history at $2.8 billion. Additionally, authorities say almost 7,000 homes and structures have been destroyed in the wildfires.

Now that Google and Uber are locked in a fierce legal battle that could effectively cripple Uber's dreams of having a fleet of driverless vehicles, Lyft has a real chance of cornering the United States market.

Waymo and Uber are involved in a legal dispute as Waymo alleges that Uber is using its trade secrets for its self-driving auto sensors.

But while the stake in Uber is worth a lot more than the stake in Lyft, the two companies have an increasingly frosty relationship, based largely on a fractious court case concerning stolen self-driving auto technology.

According to two people briefed on the discussion, Lyft has been in talks with investment banks about an IPO next year.

According to Lyft, this year saw the service complete its 500 millionth ride, and it is now available to 95 per cent of the USA population, up from 54 per cent at the beginning of the year. However, the relationship between the two companies started as far back as May of this year.

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