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Jaguar Land Rover invests $25 million in Lyft

Ride-hailing company Lyft has raised $25 million from Jaguar Land Rover. The company will use the funds to expand business and develop technologies for self-driving cars. As part of the investment,  a fleet of its vehicles including Jaguar and lLandRover will be supplied to Lyft.

The investment was made through Britain carmaker’s mobility services business InMotion Ventures.

Tata Motors and cab hailing space:  Jaguar is owned by Tata Motors. Note that in August 2015 Tata Group’s equity firm Tata Opportunities Fund had invested in $100 million in Uber for expansion in India. Also  Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed amount in rival service Ola in his personal capacity in July 2015. In July last year, Tata Group companies Tata Capital Financial services, Tata AIG, Tata Motors Finance and Tata Business Support services  partnered with Uber to provide flexible loans and insurances to Uber drivers.    

Previous Funding and partnership

In January last year, Lyft secured its biggest funding round of $1 billion led by General Motors at a $5.5 billion valuation. It has raised more than $2 billion from multiple rounds of funding from prominent investors like Rakuten, Alibaba, AFSquare among others. Apart from this, it raised funds from China’s cab hailing startup Didi Kuaidi in December 2015, which put $100 million in the company, primarily to expand services. In the same month, Lyft, Ola from India, Didi Kuaidi from China, and GrabTaxi from Singapore joined hands in a strategic alliance to roll out product and help better each other’s services. The Ola-Didi-Grab alliance effectively stands dissolved following Uber’s sale of its China operations to Didi.

Recent activities by Lyft

  • In May this year it tied up with Waymo, which is an autonomous car technology project by Alphabet. The financials of the deal were undisclosed. Wyamo is doing test runs of self-driving vehicles in the US and Lyft could integrate its vehicles with Wyamo fleet in future
  • In March Lyft acquired Pune based startup FinitePaths.  FinitePaths had built Trail Answers, a mobile app that allowed users to ask questions and answer questions within a local community. However, post the acquisition the company had said in a blog post that it would be shutting down the Trail Answers app and its founders Balaji Raghavan and Vinay Kakade would  join the Lyft engineering team in the US.

Rival Uber

However rival Uber has been facing trouble. According to reports, its founder Travis Kalanick  may be asked to take a leave of absence and head of business Emil Michael was asked to leave the company. More than 20 people have been fired as part of law firms Perkin Coie and Covington & Burling’s investigation of sexual harassment and other workplace malpractice claims at the company.  Earlier this month Eric Alexander, Uber’s president of business in the Asia Pacific was fired for obtaining holding and sharing the medical reports of Delhi women raped by an Uber driver in 2015.

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