Ride-sharing is a pricey business to be in, so Lyft has been shopping around for a deal that would infuse the company with cash right away. Google appears to be very interested as it’s reportedly considering a $1 billion investment in Lyft. High-ranking executives at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, have been pushing for a deal.
Both companies declined to comment, but Bloomberg and Axios are reporting the two have been engaged in serious conversations in recent weeks.
Larry Page, who now leads Alphabet, is one of the executives heavily interested in a deal with Lyft.
Alphabet hasn’t decided if Google or CapitalG, its venture capital fund, would make the investment. The clock could be ticking, though. SoftBank is considering a major investment in Uber to own more than 17 percent of Lyft’s rival. And, if a deal is not made, SoftBank could easily turn to Lyft and nix Alphabet’s plans.
It’s far from the first time anyone has considered striking deal with Lyft, whether that be through an acquisition or investment. Previous investors include General Motors, Carl Icahn, and Andreessen Horowitz. They’re among those who helped Lyft raise $2 billion up until this point. In 2016, Lyft reportedly actually reached out to multiple companies about an acquisition. Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft talked with Lyft but passed on submitting bids. Lyft was believed to be seeking around $9 billion.
Lyft wants to use the investment on subsidies for drivers, discounts for riders, and marketing for visibility.
If Alphabet drops $1 billion on the ride-sharing service, Uber will certainly be angered. Waymo, another Alphabet subsidiary, and Uber are locked into a lawsuit over trade secrets being stolen. Google was also an early investor in Uber. Because of the lawsuit, Alphabet wants to take its money elsewhere.