Now, Lyft has announced that CapitalG, which is Alphabet's growth investment fund, is leading a $1 billion financing round in the car-sharing company.
The round was led by Alphabet's CapitalG, its growth-focused investment fund, and CapitalG partner David Lawee will join Lyft's board as part of the transaction.
Uber, meanwhile, is trying to rebound from a series of scandals that exploded in early 2017, when a former engineer for the company wrote a blog post detailing her experiences with sexual harassment and retaliation there, and which continued even after Kalanick's exit.
In 2013, Google invested $258 million in Uber through a different venture capital arm called Google Ventures, which was later rebranded under Alphabet as GV. "We're also excited to work with CapitalG Partner David Lawee, who is joining Lyft's Board". It's also close to raising what could be more than $1 billion from SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate.
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Lyft is still far smaller and worth far less than Uber, another privately held company based in San Francisco whose investors have valued it at almost $70 billion. On paper, Uber remains the far more valuable company. Current shareholders aren't likely to approve that deal, but it suggests that Uber might be overvalued just as its biggest domestic competitor is building momentum.
There's a long history of technology companies investing in the next generation of upstarts. Those startups turned into the dominant players in their industries and countries.
This is a huge step for Lyft, and the fact that it's working this closely with Alphabet is truly fascinating. Uber executives scoffed privately that Lyft was only worth $2 billion in 2016. This brings Lyft's post-money valuation to $11 billion.
The falling out dates back to a year ago when Kalanick became convinced that Waymo meant to deploy its robotic cars in a rival ride-hailing service. Lyft has also flirted with worldwide expansion, while Uber already operates in more than 70 countries.