Last updated: 03:17 PM ET, Mon January 04 2016

Lyft Starts New Year With $500 Million Investment From General Motors

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | January 04, 2016

Lyft Starts New Year With $500 Million Investment From General Motors

Image via Lyft

While Sidecar shutters much of its operations, fellow ridesharing firm Lyft is experiencing a boon of confidence in the form of a $500 million investment from General Motors.

According to a press release, Lyft, which continues to be the Pepsi to Uber’s Coca-Cola, has just announced quite the fortuitous start to 2016.

Per the release: “Lyft, Inc. today announced that it is closing $1 billion with a $500 million investment from General Motors.”

The news means more than a giant tip of the hat from one of the largest automobile makers in the world. As stated, GM will also now have a seat on the board of Lyft, Inc.

For Lyft, the latest round of funding also included nods from Kingdom Holding, Janus Capital Management, Rakuten, Didi Kuaidi and Alibaba. In total, the company once symbolized by a pink mustache is worth a whopping $5.5 billion.

The release continues with an eye on what this means for the collaborative effort: “In addition to GM's investment in Lyft, the companies are creating an Autonomous On-Demand Network. GM is at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development and Lyft is the leading innovator of software to automate ride matching, routing and payments. Together, the companies will work to help make this integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles part of people's daily lives.”

That’s hardly all, because GM and Lyft are promising what each calls “a series of national rental hubs,”

Presumably, this would be akin to drivers showing up to take a car out with the exact purpose of picking up and squiring Lyft users about town.

The times are changing, which isn’t lost on companies that have been around for decades. GM’s president Dan Ammann offered: “We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous. With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”

For Lyft’s part, president and co-founder John Zimmer states: “This raise and collaboration with GM are exciting milestones in our three-year history that continue Lyft's leadership in redefining traditional car ownership. We are thrilled to take this momentum into the new year and continue improving life in our cities through more affordable, accessible and enjoyable transportation.”

The last couple of years has seen an uptick in reports (MTAWA, Edmunds, NY Times) that signal a decrease in car ownership, thanks in large part to the advent of ride-hailing services like Lyft.

It makes sense to toe the waters of change, especially when those waters promise a growing tide of consumers more willing to tap a couple of screens on their respective smartphones than maintain and pay for their very own car. 


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