Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures announced that it has joined Lyft’s recently announced $600 million fundraising round in an effort to bolster both companies’ self-driving car efforts.
InMotion said it has invested $25 million in the ride-sharing company as Lyft continues to search for ways to gain the upper hand against rival Uber. In a press release, InMotion said that the investment will allow it to provide support for Lyft’s expansion by supplying drivers with fleets of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
But, perhaps more critically, InMotion said it will also use the partnership to “develop and test its mobility services, including autonomous vehicles.”
“We are excited to collaborate with a leading platform like Lyft not only on developing premium mobility solutions but also devising innovative solutions to the transport problems Jaguar Land Rover’s customers face,” said Sebastian Peck, InMotion’s managing director, in a statement. “Personal mobility and smart transportation is evolving and this new collaborative venture will provide a real-world platform helping us develop our connected and autonomous services.”
In April, Lyft confirmed that it had raised a new round of funding, bringing in $600 million from a combination of new and old investors at a valuation of $7.5 billion. At the time, the company didn’t say exactly how it would use the money.
A month later, Lyft announced a partnership with Google’s Waymo to work on self-driving car technology. The InMotion investment will give Lyft another ally in its competition with Uber, a company that seems increasingly vulnerable. While Uber has been investing heavily in self-driving technologies, those efforts suffered a blow with a lawsuit filed by Waymo accusing it of stealing its technology.
In general, self-driving cars remain over the horizon, but ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft consider them to be an essential part of a long-term strategy.
“We’re excited to join forces with Jaguar Land Rover and InMotion,” said Lyft president and cofounder John Zimmer. “Lyft envisions a future where shared mobility will transform cities and improve people’s lives. This partnership will help us achieve that ambitious goal.”