Google parent Alphabet leads $1B investment in Lyft

SAN FRANCISCO - Google's parent company is throwing its financial support behind ride-hailing service Lyft, deepening its rift with market leader Uber.

Alphabet (GOOGL), which gets most of its money from Google's digital ad network, is leading a $1 billion investment in Lyft that values the privately held company at $11 billion. The investment is being made through Alphabet's CapitalG venture capital arm.

Lyft is still far smaller and worth far less than Uber, another privately held company whose investors have valued it at nearly $70 billion.

But Uber has been enmeshed in internal strife amid management upheaval and allegations of rampant sexual harassment. Uber also risks getting tossed out of one of its most important overseas markets after London's transportation regulator recently stripped the company of its license to operate in the city.

In June, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned under pressure from Benchmark Capital, one of its venture capital backers. 

Google was an early investor in Uber, but now its self-driving car spin-off Waymo is suing Uber for the alleged theft of its secret technology.

Lyft has been pushing aggressively to enter new markets around the country. In a statement announcing Google's investment, the company said its service is now available to 95 percent of the U.S. population, up from 54 percent in January.