Alphabet’s Capital on Uber Grew 20 Times in 6 Years

Google’s parent company Alphabet’s branch for startup investments is reaping its rewards with Uber after six years as its $258M investment in 2013 blew up by 20 times, says CNBC. Previously called Google Ventures, the investment arm now owns around 5.2% shares which are estimated to have a value of more than $5 billion.

The ride-hailing company is deemed to be valued at $100 billion, which makes Alphabet’s stake value around $5.2 billion. However, this figure is expected to be highly volatile as the company’s lock-up agreement will expire 6 months after the recent IPO prospectus.

However, it seems that the two companies may be benefitting from one another without getting along in terms of litigation. Reports reveal that Google’s parent company took legal action against Uber accusing the ride-hailing company to have ‘stolen trade secrets.’

This follows after ride company obtained Waymo, an early-stage business established by Anthony Levandowski who used to be Google’s executive. The cases ended with Uber paying Waymo $245 million in equity stake which is equal to 0.34% shares.

Meanwhile, the two companies’ business relationship seems to be in good terms as Uber acquired Google’s map, tech infrastructure and enterprise services, as well as marketing and advertising services for $58 million, $70 million and $631 million, respectively.

Alphabet’s involvement with Lyft seems to be another source of its combative relationship with Uber. Aside from this, Alphabet has also invested in its competitor Lyft. CapitalG, the company’s late-stage investment branch placed capital reported to be valued at $500 million back in 2017.

Recent figures show that Google’s parent company now owns 5.3% shares in Lyft, which amounts to $783 million. The two companies also have a lock-up agreement which lasts for 6 months after the IPO.