Lyft gets $1bn from Google to rev up challenge to Uber

  • New funding gives Lyft a valuation of $11 billion
  • Comes as Uber has been left reeling from a series of missteps and scandals 
  • Funding round was led by CapitalG, formerly known as Google Capital

US 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.

Lyft said the new funding gives it a valuation of $11 billion as it steps up competition against Uber, reeling from a series of missteps and scandals which have forced out its founder and chief executive.

A Lyft blog post said the new funding round was led by CapitalG, formerly known as Google Capital, which invests in emerging tech firms.

Lyft’s latest capital injection of $1 billion led by Google parent Alphabet boosts the valuation of the ridesharing firm to $11 billion


Lyft and Alphabet already have a relationship through a partnership Lyft struck with Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, in May. 

The two companies are collaborating on bringing autonomous vehicle technology to market, but have not provided many details.

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

Alphabet also has ties to Uber through its second investment arm, GV. GV invested in Uber in 2013, but then Uber began to develop autonomous cars and compete directly with Alphabet.


Lyft has been expanding in the US market as Uber’s image has taken a hit in recent months. 

It has also been expanding its partnerships including with General Motors and the former Google Car unit now called Waymo.

‘2017 has been an important year for the Lyft community. Earlier this month, we completed our 500 millionth ride and our service is now available to 95 percent of the US population – up from 54 percent at the beginning of the year,’ the statement said.

‘While we’ve made progress towards our vision, we´re most excited about what lies ahead. 

‘The fact remains that less than 0.5 percent of miles traveled in the US happen on rideshare networks. 

‘This creates a huge opportunity to best serve our cities’ economic, environmental, and social futures.’

The new investment creates a potential conflict for Alphabet, which was one of the early investors in Uber.

Uber, which has a valuation of nearly $70 billion, is widely expected to seal a deal for a major investment from Japan’s Softbank, which could allow some stakeholders to cash out.

Uber board member Ariana Huffington said this week she expects a Softbank announcement soon.