Lyft announces $1 billion funding round led by Google investment fund

Lyft At Its San Francisco Headquarters Showcasing Lyft Cars The Glowstache The Lyft App Lyft Passengers And Drivers

Lyft operates only in the US at the moment

Both companies are betting the ride-hailing market will continue to expand dramatically and move beyond the largest cities by weaving itself into the transportation fabric of America's heartland.

Alphabet Inc.'s investment arm, CapitalG, led a $1 billion investment in Lyft Inc. that values it at $11 billion, the ride-sharing startup said Thursday.

Lyft, which runs a distant second to Uber, has pushed expansion this year.

Lyft has gained market share in the USA this year as Uber suffered from executive turnover and self-inflicted wounds, including a protest over the company's ties to the Trump administration.

Over the past few years, Uber and Lyft have poured money into subsidies and other short-term stimulants of market share growth.

Lyft said the latest funding round gives it a valuation of $11 billion. It's also close to raising what could be more than $1 billion from SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate. CapitalG Partner David Lawee will join Lyft's board.

News of this possible investment may deepen the rift between Alphabet and Uber.

Translation: It's totally not awkward at all.

What's also interesting about this deal is that CapitalG was a backer for Uber early on in the company's life. 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 past year as the two companies began racing to develop autonomous auto technology. Last year, Alphabet executive David Drummond stepped down from the Uber board as the relationship soiled.

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

Outwardly, Google's new cash infusion into Lyft is a strategic investment, but it may also be fueled by spite.

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

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