With the ever growing traffic on the roads more and more people are looking for alternatives to driving their way across the city. Well the fight for a piece of the cake has become fiercer due to this.
The future of the ride-hailing industry depends on the capricious largesse of two internet billionaires on opposite sides of the globe. Alphabet Inc., led by Larry Page, just backed Lyft Inc., while SoftBank Group Corp. chief Masayoshi Son is set to take a big stake in larger rival Uber Technologies Inc.
As per the information from ET, Alphabet unit CapitalG led a $1 billion investment in Lyft on Thursday that valued the No. 2 U.S. ride-hailing company at $11 billion. SoftBank is expected to put a fresh $1 billion into Uber, and spend billions more buying shares from existing investors.
It wasn’t always this way. In fact, it’s a stunning role reversal. Any amity that still existed evaporated in August 2016 when Uber announced that it was purchasing Otto, an autonomous trucking company run by former Alphabet self-driving car employees. That month, Drummond officially left Uber’s board — even though he’d stopped attending meetings many months prior. In February 2017, Alphabet sued Uber for stealing its trade secrets.
Masayoshi Son’s switch is arguably even more dramatic. Before wooing Uber in recent months, SoftBank had invested billions of dollars in the following ride-sharing startups: Didi in China, Ola in India and Grab in Southeast Asia.
By 2015, SoftBank had formed an anti-Uber alliance that earned nicknames like DKGLO (which stands for Didi Kuaidi, Grab, Lyft, and Ola). There were partnerships and cross investments. Didi invested $100 million in Lyft that year. Lyft and Didi were going to partner up. It seemed inevitable that SoftBank would join team Lyft, and Son even hinted he was interested earlier this year.
The tussle between the two biggies has just got bigger and one can rest assured that Larry and Masa are pulling the strings.