The ride sharing giant announced on Thursday it has raised $1 billion in a new investment round, led by Alphabet's CapitalG investment fund, pushing the San Francisco-based company's valuation to $11 billion. Uber began heavily recruiting Google employees for a number of divisions within the company and Google chief legal officer David Drummond stepped down from Uber's board past year as the two companies began racing to develop autonomous auto technology.
Alphabet is also a shareholder in Uber Technologies, Lyft's largest rival, through its investment arm GV. Any attempt to move into global markets would likely be a rather costly endeavor for Lyft that the investment from Alphabet could potentially help foot.
Lyft, which runs a distant second to Uber [UBER.UL] in both size and valuation, has pushed expansion this year, adding more than 100 new cities since January. Uber lured away Expedia's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, to replace Kalanick and clean up the mess. "Earlier this month, we completed our 500 millionth ride and our service is now available to 95 per cent of the USA population - up from 54 per cent at the beginning of the year", the company said in a blog post.
"While we've made great progress towards our vision, we're most excited about what lies ahead", Lyft President John Zimmer said in a statement.
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. This year Waymo sued Uber, alleging trade secret theft, in a case that is set to go to trial in December.
The ride-hailing wars just got even messier. Last year, Alphabet executive David Drummond stepped down from the Uber board as the relationship soiled. It's already clear that Alphabet is interested in self-driving cars, as the company owns Waymo.
David Lawee, a partner at CapitalG, will join Lyft's board as part of the deal, the company said in a blog.