Renowned UK-based automaker, Jaguar Land Rover is going to invest $25 million in San Francisco’s transportation network company Lyft via InMotion, a mobility service subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover. The sturdy investment will be used for upmarket ridesharing services and much awaited future innovations, prominent amongst them being the driverless car.
In the recent funding round, Lyft raised $600 million from various investors. Of this colossal amount, $25 million came from British luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover. This mammoth investment gave enhanced Lyft’s private market valuation to a whopping $7.5 billion.
They company has also decided to supply Lyft drivers with an armada of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles as a part of the alliance, following companies like General Motors and Google’s autonomous car division Waymo who have a partnership with Lyft. This will help the company to perform various autonomous vehicle testings.
There have been a lot of ongoing problem with another cab tycoon and Lyft’s arch rival, Uber. Pertaining to which, the company has made its point very clear with an approach of seeking to partner on autonomy rather than fabricating its own tech (unlike Uber). Uber has spent millions of dollars in order launch their own self-driving cars. However, Lyft has decided to tie-up with companies like General Motors, Waymo, NuTonomy and Jaguar Land Rover and allow them to test their vehicles on their platform.
Ratan Tata, who bought Jaguar Land Rover for $1.5 billion in 2008, hopes that this move will help the company to compete with other carmakers. This move will also help them acquire a dominance in future when such smart vehicles would take over traditional vehicles.
Uber‘s journey in making of self-driving cars has been quite difficult. The cab giant was recently sued by Waymo, a subsidiary of Google’s Alphabet, for allegedly stealing its secrets.
The partnership between Jaguar Land Rover and Lyft would involve the offering of strategically cooperative services and not just development of technology for self-driving cars.
An investment of $500 in Lyft by General Motors was the first from a large-scale automaker. This predominant funding paved the way for other major investments. General Motors has decided to provide the service with thousands of Chevrolet Volts by 2018. It has also joined hands with NuTonomy to test their robot taxis in Boston. Also, in May, Google’s Waymo decided to collaborate with Lyft.