Google’s parent company Alphabet is leading a $1bn round of new funding for ride-hailing company Lyft that will help it step up its challenge to larger rival Uber.
The funding is being led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund, which has also backed tech companies such as home-renting platform Airbnb and payments firm Stripe.
It is the latest challenge to Uber, which is appealing against a decision by London transport bosses to strip it of its licence to operate in the capital.
The investment represents a further complication in the tangled web of alliances in the sector.
Image: Uber has been valued at up to $70bn
Lyft, which is currently a distant second to Uber in the ride-hailing market, said the latest round of funding would boost its valuation from $7.5bn to $11bn. Uber has been valued at as much as $70bn.
Alphabet already has a relationship with Lyft through a deal Lyft struck with Waymo – Alphabet’s self-driving car arm – earlier this year.
The Google owner is also linked to Uber after a second investment arm, GV, backed it in 2013 – but that was before Uber began to develop autonomous cars, in direct competition to Alphabet.
This year, Waymo sued Uber, alleging trade-secret theft, in a case that is set to go to trial in December.
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Image: Alphabet is Google’s parent company
Lyft has been pushing expansion this year, saying it is available across 41 US states and completes more than a million rides a day.
It also has ties with carmaker General Motors, which has invested $500m.
CapitalG partner David Lawee, who will join Lyft’s board as part of the latest fundraising, said: “Ridesharing is still in its early days and we look forward to seeing Lyft continue its impressive growth.”