Jaguar Land Rover and InMotion invests in Lyft and Splt ride-sharing platforms


Jaguar Land Rover’s smart mobility investment arm, InMotion Ventures, has announced £19m (US$25m) of new funding in Lyft, the fastest-growing rideshare company in the USA.

The InMotion investment will support Lyft’s expansion and technology plans. It will also provide the app-based ridesharer with the opportunity to develop and test its mobility services, including autonomous vehicles (AVs), and to supply Lyft drivers with a fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) 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. “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.”

Hanno Kirner, executive director of corporate and strategy at JLR, added, “This is a strategic investment for both parties, as we focus on innovating new mobility solutions for our customers. Collaborating with an expanding technology business like Lyft is going to help us both accelerate our ambitions.”

InMotion’s latest funding follows its recent seed investment in Splt, the enterprise-focused carpool platform that enables employees at large organizations to connect and share the drive to and from work, using their own vehicles. The platform’s ride-matching algorithm allows lifts to be dynamically arranged in seconds within a trusted community of commuters, saving time and money for all parties, as well as combatting traffic and parking issues. The Detroit-based startup currently operates in five major US cities, serving over 100,000 users, and recently established a partnership with Lyft to provide non-emergency medical transport.

InMotion’s Peck noted, “Splt is a perfect fit for our portfolio, and a hugely exciting business that tackles a universal problem. Making the commute more efficient greatly benefits businesses and their employees. Splt’s move into medical transport demonstrates the significant growth potential of the business, and its innovative model will inform and complement some of our other projects.”

InMotion has also formed a partnership with the Techstars global startup ecosystem, and will be working closely with the Techstars Mobility program, which already invested in 22 mobility and transportation startups worldwide, collectively valued in excess of US$100m. InMotion will be supporting each Techstars Mobility class at every stage, contributing to the applicant shortlisting process, mentoring teams on the program, and making selected investments in graduating companies.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).