Alphabet: Investment in Lime

As the Financial Times reported, the Alphabet group, parent company of Google, has taken part in the latest funding round of Lime. Lime, the company behind Lime Bikes and Lime scooters raised a total of $300m through their latest round.

Interestingly, one of the other investors was Google's venture capital arm - Google Ventures. Alphabet reportedly matched the investment of Google Ventures, which values Lime at $800m - $1,1bn. 

The move by Alphabet signals a strategic interest in the world of mobility - investments from the group rarely happen at the holding company level. Indeed, it could be that Alphabet sees this as a new opportunity to further diversify their project portfolio, rather than a mere venture investment. The holding company is already invested in the future of transportation through its subsidiaries, Waymo and Sidewalk Labs, of course, but this adds an additional layer of interest. It could, for example, signal that Alphabet sees the future of transportation as a combination of autonomous vehicles, smart city technologies, and last-mile solutions in the form of e-bikes and e-scooters - a concept known as MaaS, which could, for example, become part of Google Maps in a future iteration of the popular navigation app.  

Another e-scooter company, Bird, recently raised $300m in a new round of funding led by Sequoia Capital. The funding received values Bird at approximately $2bn, thus making it one of the fastest growing startups of the country. 

Andrew Kyprianides