Google could make a billion-dollar bet on Uber's biggest competitor

Axios reports that the investment is being pushed by top-level executives rather than Alphabet's in-house investment fund organizations. Google, which had previously invested $258 million in Uber (via Google Ventures), is suing Uber for allegedly stealing thousands of files from Google's self driving auto company, Waymo.

Uber is nearing an investment from Japan-based SoftBank Group as well as other for the reported amount of more than $12 billion, of which it would allow the existing shareholders of the business to all cash out. However, the partnership has deteriorated, opening up the chance for Lyft to receive a possible investment from Google's parent.

Moreover, the duo, Waymo and Lyft, are already working on a self-driving vehicle pilot program.

Such an injection of support from one of Silicon Valley's largest companies would certainly be a boost as it aims to grab more of Uber's market share. The round valued the company at $7.5 billion, up from $5.5 billion at Lyft's previous financing more than a year earlier. This would make it an even bigger thorn on the side of Uber, which is in a legal battle with Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo. Lyft is also in a competition against Uber for the title as the top ride hailing service.

Neither Alphabet nor Lyft would comment on the report.

With another $1 billion in hand, Lyft could ensure its independence during the near future, something John Zimmer its co-founder said was a priority.

If the investment pushes through, it will add to the already-heavy plate of problems of Uber and its new CEO.

Last month, Uber chose Dara Khosrowshah to be the new chief, replacing Travis Kalanick.

It goes without saying that the autonomous driving space will see a spate of innovations in the next few years, both by technology companies and automakers, as well as by smaller startups.

  • Anthony Vega