GM invests in Lyft to work on driverless ride

San Francisco, Jan 5 (IANS) Ride-hailing application startup Lyft Inc. has received a $500 million investment from General Motors to build a fleet of driverless cars.

Lyft, based in San Francisco, on Monday said GM’s investment, believed to be the biggest bet from the auto industry, was part of Lyft’s fresh round of efforts to raise $1 billion needed to facilitate rapid growth, Xinhua reported.

It will earn the Detroit-based automaker a seat on the three-year-old startup’s board.

A number of other investors, including Chinese companies Didi Kuaidi and Alibaba, were in the round, elevating Lyft’s value to $5.5 billion.

As a competitor of Uber Technologies Inc., another startup in San Francisco, it expects revenue of about $1 billion in 2016.

While Lyft works on software to automate ride matching, routing and payments, GM was at the forefront of driverless vehicle development. The two will try together to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles.

They will also work on a series of rental hubs in the US where Lyft drivers can rent short-term GM vehicles at discounted rates.

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