Axios and Bloomberg are reporting that Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has recently held talks with Lyft–Uber’s main rival in the U.S.–regarding a possible $1 billion investment in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing service. It’s a surprising development given that Google’s GV capital arm was an early investor in Uber.
But Alphabet’s relationship with Uber has soured after Alphabet’s Waymo sued Uber earlier this year claiming Uber had infringed on some autonomous vehicle patents. Also, Waymo has signed a deal with Lyft to work on autonomous vehicles.
The idea to invest in Lyft is said to be coming from the highest levels of Alphabet, namely Larry Page and some other top executives. If the investment comes to pass, Lyft would use the money to pay for driver incentives, and to expand marketing efforts.