GM helps Lyft raise $1 billion, and they plan a network of self-driving cars
On-demand transportation company Lyft raised $1 billion in a Series F round of funding, with $500 million coming from General Motors, the San Francisco company announced Monday.
The 3-year-old company is now valued at $5.5 billion, up from a previous valuation of $2.5 billion.
Kingdom Holding Co. and its affiliates invested $250 million, and investors such as Janus Capital Management, Rakuten, Alibaba and Didi Kuaidi completed the round.
In addition to the injection of cash, GM will take a seat on Lyft’s board, and the two companies will create an Autonomous On-Demand Network that will enable people to book a self-driving car in the way they currently hail an Uber or Lyft ride. The partnership will leverage GM’s autonomous vehicle development and Lyft’s ride-matching, routing and payments software.
Although self-driving cars could still be a ways off, the investment is a clear indicator that the transportation industry believes autonomous vehicles will play a big role in the future.
Google, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are among the companies to invest in autonomous car development. Lyft’s main competitor, Uber, has opened a robotics research center in Pittsburgh to research autonomy technology.
“There could be a movie theater on wheels for long trips,” he said, “or a sports bar on wheels on your way home from work, or a family Lyft for your trip to Tahoe.”
“You’ll have access to all these kinds of vehicles, you’ll order it on Lyft, and it’ll be just a few dollars for a short trip in the city,” he said.
The new funds will be used primarily in the U.S. to grow Lyft’s driver and customer base, Zimmer said.
Your guide to our new economic reality.
Get our free business newsletter for insights and tips for getting by.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.