Lime — you likely know them as purveyors of those bikes and scooters you see scattered all over the sidewalk — announced today that it’s raised $335 million in its latest funding round. Notably, the round was led by GV (the venture funding arm of Alphabet), and Alphabet itself had a part in it, too…
Joe Kraus, Investment Partner at GV, will be taking a seat on the Lime board:
The round was led by GV, and Joe Kraus will take a seat on our board. Other new investors include Alphabet, IVP, Atomico and Fidelity Management and Research Company. Our existing investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, Fifth Wall and GIC, Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund also participated in the round.
The new funds will give Lime “the ability to expand our operations globally, develop new technologies and products for consumers and build out our infrastructure and team.”
Interestingly, Lime also confirmed that Uber was part of the funding roung. Uber is reportedly planning to begin offering Lime scooters through its own app. Uber branding will also be added to all Lime scooters.
On a slightly related note, Uber and Google decided to part ways on their partnership to offer Uber rides in Google Maps. This comes as it seems Google and Uber are more directly competing in some ways.
It’s been interesting to see Alphabet’s relationships with the ride-hailing behemoths shift over time. Five years ago, Uber was GV’s biggest investment at the time, but things got complicated when Alphabet’s Waymo accused Uber of conspiring to steal its IP. That ended in a hefty settlement. Meanwhile, in 2017, Google and Waymo formed a pretty extensive partnership to take self-driving to the masses.
So while it seemed that Uber and Google’s relationship was rocky at best, as of late things seem to have taken a turn for the better. As of a report in March of this year, Uber wants Waymo’s autonomous vehicles in its ridesharing app. And now, of course, Uber and Alphabet are partaking in this GV-led Lime funding round, which seems to signal that their ambitions may align more than thought.
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