Popular Lyft, Silvercar got a shot in the arm in the form of big venture capital injections to start off the New Year:
San Francisco-based Lyft said it has raised a cool $1 billion in fresh funding — half of it from General Motors. Saudi Arabia-based Kingdom Holding Company, run by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, kicked in another $100 million. Other investors include Janus Capital Management, Alibaba, Rakuten and Didi Kualdi.
Lyft said it will work with GM to create an “autonomous on-demand network” — a reference to the eventual deployment of driverless cars that consumers can summon with an app. “Together, the companies will work to help make this integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles part of people’s daily lives,” Lyft said.
Lyft and General Motors also said they will create “a series of national rental hubs” where those who want to drive for Lyft can do so without owning a car — by renting one from GM for that purpose.
Calling itself “the fastest-growing rideshare platform in the United States,” Lyft noted that it now operates in more than 190 cities, and has achieved a market share of more than 40 percent in San Francisco and Austin. Lyft recently became the first ride-sharing app to start picking up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.
Meanwhile, boutique car rental firm Silvercar said it has secured $28 million in new funding, most of it from Audi. Focusing on the domestic airport rental business, Silvercar offers only one kind of vehicle: Silver Audis fully loaded with amenities. The app-based operation focuses on smooth rental transactions and speedy delivery of service.
Silvercar said it will use the funding to “expand to new markets nationwide.”
Last month, Silvercar opened an outlet at Las Vegas McCarran Airport, giving it a total of 12 locations, also including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Dallas Love Field, Austin, Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago O’Hare and New York City.
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United packages Economy Plus with amenities + Ride-sharing firm goes out of business + Bucket list for air travelers + Useless travel gadgets + ‘Uber of the Skies’ dies
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