Google parent leads $1B Lyft investment, deepening Uber rift

Lyft operates along the Puget Sound from Tacoma to Arlington as well as Bellingham Wenatchee and Spokane

CloseLyft operates along the Puget Sound from Tacoma to Arlington as well as Bellingham Wenatchee and SpokaneCOURTESY OF LYFT

The new funding round gives Lyft a cash infusion to compete with Uber, which has been reeling from a series of scandals and executive turnover in 2017.

Alphabet also has ties to Uber through its second investment arm, GV, which backs young startups.

Those obstacles have taken their toll: while Uber has been valued as high as $70 billion, that number could fluctuate pending an investment deal with SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that's been eying a major stake in Uber.

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Earlier this year, Waymo and Lyft formed a partnership to begin testing self-driving cars on the roads in a move that was widely seen as another attack on Uber. Back in 2013, Google Ventures (which is separate from CapitalG and is now just called "GV") made its largest investment ever-$258 million-in Uber as Alphabet chief legal officer David Drummond joined the Uber board. This brings Lyft's post-money valuation to $11 billion. 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. Google was an early investor in Uber, but now a self-driving vehicle company that it created is suing Uber for alleged theft of trade secrets.

The deals come as Waymo accuses Uber of using autonomous technology that allegedly was stolen by an ex-Google engineer. Uber's valuation tops $68 billion, despite recent setbacks.

Uber has also been embroiled in sexual harassment claims, lawsuits and U.S. Department of Justice investigations over its business practices.

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But Maris and other Uber investors are conflicted, saying the company still has the potential to be worth $100 billion or more.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, has forged a close relationship with Lyft.

"We will go public when it's right for us", said Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna.

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