According to a report by Bloomberg, Google is thinking of investing $1 billion in Lyft, one of Uber’s main competitors. The money could help the US ride-sharing service expand to international markets and try to take some business away from rivals.
The possible investment is extremely interesting because of the fact that Google also invested in Uber back in 2013. It now also wants to own a piece of its biggest rival, which is kind of strange in some ways.
Google (or better said Alphabet) and Uber have kind of a love-hate relationship. Although the online search giant did invest millions of dollars into the ride-hailing company, it’s also currently battling with it in court. Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving division, is suing Uber over an alleged technology theft committed by former Googler Anthony Levandowski, who joined Uber in 2016. Is this possible investment in Lyft Google’s way of getting back at Uber? Probably not – more likely, it’s just a business decision that will make the company more money.
The investment couldn’t have come at a better time for Lyft. Things at Uber are far from perfect thanks to sexual harassment allegations and the departure of key executives. With a billion dollars in its wallet, Lyft could take advantage of this and seriously increase its market share in the US, expand abroad, and give Uber a run for its money.
Just keep in mind that the Google-Lyft deal is not finalized yet, so it’s quite possible that it won’t happen. If it does, we’ll probably hear about it soon.