The investment branch of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has invested in Lyft.
CapitalG, the division of Alphabet that concentrates on growth investment, has thrown $1 billion towards Lyft, bringing the total valuation of the company to $11 billion.
While CapitalG investing in Lyft in and of itself isn’t the most fascinating news out of Silicon Valley, it’s Alphabet’s past work with Uber, a direct competitor of Lyft, that makes this investment newsworthy.
Back in 2013, Google Ventures invested over $250 million in the very early stages of Uber. As Uber began increasing their efforts for self-driving autonomous vehicles, it seemed that Google and Uber was the ideal partnership.
That’s until Google’s own self-driving branch Waymo sued Uber in February alleging that the ride-sharing service was stealing Waymo’s intellectual property in its quest for self-driving cars.
As the fallout between Waymo and Uber intensified, Waymo then partnered with Lyft on a program to work on autonomous vehicles.
Now that CapitalG has invested directly into Lyft, it’s clear that the two companies want a collaborative relationship. Biz Carson of Forbes explained what the investment means for Google, Alphabet, and Lyft,
“The $1 billion investment from CapitalG though shows Alphabet is willing to be more than a partner with Lyft and actually bet on the company’s future growth. As part of the deal, CapitalG’s David Lawee will take a board seat.”
The lesson in all of this? Never make Google mad.
When Uber (allegedly) tried to d block Google’s self-driving technology, the tech giants turned around and invested in Uber’s main competitor to the tune of $1 billion. It’ll be interesting to watch how the Google and Lyft partnership develops over the years and if/when it results in those autonomous whips.
Nothing better than some tech beef!