Google parent leads $1B Lyft investment, deepening Uber rift

Lyft co-founder Logan Green CapitalG partner David Lawee and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer    
   Lyft

Lyft announced today that Alphabet's investment arm CapitalG-formerly known as Google Capital-lead a $1 billion investment round in the ride-sharing company.

Uber mulled acquiring Lyft back in 2014.

Google parent company Alphabet's investment arm CapitalG is making a big bet on Lyft. Six months ago, Lyft raised $600 million from a conglomeration of investors. But what was a promising partnership quickly turned rocky as Uber and Google became ostensible competitors in the self-driving and transportation spaces. 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.

The deals come as Waymo accuses Uber of using autonomous technology that allegedly was stolen by an ex-Google engineer.

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Google was an early investor in Uber, but has had a complicated and stormy relationship with the embattled ride-hailing company, including a lawsuit alleging that a former Google executive stole self-driving vehicle technology and brought it to Uber.

"While we've made progress towards our vision, we're most excited about what lies ahead", they wrote. Logan Green told me last month.

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

"2017 has been an important year for the Lyft community", according to the company. Uber has lost some footing in key cities as of late; it lost its license to operate in London and is subject to stricter restrictions in Quebec. Uber's valuation tops $68 billion, despite recent setbacks. Any attempt to move into worldwide markets would likely be a rather costly endeavor for Lyft that the investment from Alphabet could potentially help foot. But the relationship fractured as Uber started working on self-driving cars in competition with Waymo.

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