10K80 by August Prum October 19, 2017
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!