Lyft Raises $1 Billion in Funding Round Led by Alphabet's CapitalG

Monday, 23 Oct, 2017

The Chinese ride-hailing incumbent, Didi Chuxing, also previously partnered with Lyft before buying Uber's China business. The attitude has worked in one sense - at its last funding round it tipped the scales at almost $70 billion. For instance, companies like Uber and Lyft have received funds from companies that compete with each other on a normal day. As part of the arrangements done to facilitate the $1 billion financing on Lyft, David Lawee, a partner in CapitalG, is also joining the ride-hailer's board of directors. Lyft president John Zimmer said that 0.5 percent of miles travelled in the United States were as a result of ride-sharing networks.

The investors in that round included KKR, Baillie Gifford, Alliance Bernstein, Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) along with Rakuten and Janus Capital. As a result, this opened a huge opportunity for the firm to serve the country in many aspects that include social futures, environmental and economic futures. After a series of scandals, including the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber lost its application to renew its license to operate in London in September 2017.

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

CapitalG, the investment arm of Alphabet, was formed in 2013 under the name Google Capital.

The clearest message from the new investment is simply that Lyft is, for the moment, playing the steadier tortoise to Uber's over-confident hare.

Lyft is in the valuation elevator. This is compounded by Uber's internal problems, primarily on the public relations front. On their side, investors continue to put money where they feel they will reap more.

SoftBank, for example, is also a major investor in Didi, a ride-hailing company that was once a major competitor to Uber in China and is itself an investor in Lyft. This once-promising partnership went sour once Uber began dabbling in self-driving vehicle tech, essentially intruding on the territory of Waymo. The company accuses former Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski of stealing trade secrets while he was still an employee at Waymo. But the relationship fractured as Uber started working on self-driving cars in competition with Waymo.

"CapitalG is honored to work with Lyft's compelling founders and strong leadership team", Lawee said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing Lyft continue its impressive growth".