Ride-hailing platform Lyft, a competitor to Uber, announced Thursday (Oct. 19) that CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth investment fund, was the lead investor in a $1 billion round of financing. In a company blog post announcing the funding, Lyft said its valuation will be $11 billion following the investment.
“We’re also excited to work with CapitalG partner David Lawee, who is joining Lyft’s Board,” Lyft said in the post. “2017 has been an important year for the Lyft community. Earlier this month, we completed our 500 millionth ride and our service is now available to 95 percent of the U.S. population — up from 54 percent at the beginning of the year.”
The startup also noted it is excited about the future, given fewer than 0.5 percent of miles traveled on U.S. roads happen via ridesharing networks. As a result, Lyft said there is a big opportunity to serve the nation’s cities.
The ridesharing platform's latest round of funding comes on the heels of an announcement late last month that Ford would be Lyft’s latest autonomous car partner. According to reports from TechCrunch, Ford joins Jaguar, GM and Alphabet’s Waymo — as well as startups Nutonomy and Drive.ai — as Lyft allies. Ford has said it is committed to working with partners to bring its vehicles to market in ways that actually help consumers, with one early partner being Domino's Pizza.
“Some view the opportunity with self-driving vehicles as a race to be first,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification. “But we are focusing our efforts on building a service based [on] actual people’s needs and wants. We are placing a high priority on safety and dependability so customers will trust the experience that our self-driving technology will one day enable.”
In July, Lyft announced it was opening up its network and inviting companies across the technology and automotive arenas to collect data and help get self-driving vehicles from place to place as they “haul passengers.”