Alphabet leads $1B investment round in Lyft

The investment adds another strand to the complicated web of alliances and rivalries developing in the emerging self-driving car market.

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CapitalG, Alphabet's growth investment fund, is leading a $1 billion financing round in Lyft, the rid hailing company announced Thursday, bringing its valuation to $11 billion. Additionally, the company announced that CapitalG Partner David Lawee is joining Lyft's board.

The big investment adds another strand to the complicated web of alliances and rivalries developing in the emerging self-driving car market.

Firstly, it reinforces Alphabet's existing relationship with Lyft. Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car division, already has a partnership with Lyft to test self-driving cars. At the same time, Lyft is working with GM, which invested $500 million in the company last year. GM plans to test its own self-driving car fleet after purchasing Waymo competitor Cruise Automation.

Meanwhile, the new investment also puts further distance between Alphabet and Lyft competitor Uber. Google was an early investor in Uber. Now, however, Waymo is battling Uber in court over alleged stolen trade secrets.

On top of all that, Lyft has said it will be developing its own driverless car technology.

In its blog post announcing Alphabet's investment, Lyft highlighted the gains it's made this year, tallying its 500 millionth ride just this month. Lyft is now available to 95 percent of the US population, up from 54 percent at the beginning of the year.

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