You must have heard that Google & Uber described their relationship as “big brother and little brother,” but the story is age-old now. What happened between the two? Did Google invest in Uber?
Keep on reading our article if you want to find the truth about what happened between these two giants and how they ended up in an expensive lawsuit.
Did Google Invest In Uber?
Yes, Google invested $258 million in Uber in the year 2013 and integrated Uber into Google Maps in the next year. The two companies shared such a familial relationship that Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, described the relationship as “like big brother and little brother.”
However, the relationship between the “two brothers” began to sour in 2015 when Uber hired a team of self-driving engineers from Carnegie Mellon University.
Google’s co-founder Larry Page was not happy with this acquisition, and over a phone call with Kalanick, he said, “You’re taking our people. You’re taking our IP.”
Spun off from Google’s self-driving project, Waymo in 2015 accused Uber of poaching its best self-driving car engineer, Anthony Levandowski.
Waymo alleged that Levandowski downloaded 14,000 confidential files before leaving the company to begin his own startup, which was bought by Uber less than a year later.
Both companies started a trade secrets trial in 2018 that ended up in a settlement.
The ride-hailing company was asked to give Waymo a 0.34 percent equity stake in Uber, which was valued at $72 billion. The settlement was done for quite less, contrary to Waymo’s initial request of $1 billion in cash.
The costly settlement for Uber finally ended that year in 2018.
What happened when Google sued Uber?
As mentioned earlier, Waymo and Uber settled a lawsuit. However, Levandowski had to face criminal charges for trade secret theft, which ended up with a plea deal.
As per the plea deal, Levandowski was asked to pay $95,000 as a fine and $757,000 in restitution to Google.
In another case filing, he was found guilty of illegally poaching Waymo engineers and was ordered to pay $179 million to Waymo. Since he could not afford the same, he ended up filing for bankruptcy.
He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing self-driving cars secret.
Does Google Own Uber?
Because of the long relationship the two companies shared and the 2016 investment of Google into Uber, a lot of people think that Google owns Uber.
So, is this true? The answer is yes and no.
Google does not own Uber outright, but Google’s venture capital company, Google Ventures, invested over $258 million in Uber, giving them ownership of 5%-6% of Uber’s company.
Additionally, there are a few Google employees who are a part of Uber’s board of directors.
However, Google is not the only one that has invested money in Uber; the relationship goes both ways.
Uber has spent over $58 million on Google’s mapping technology and has also paid Google 631 million dollars for marketing and advertising.
So, coming back to your question, Google simply owns a small percentage of Uber and not the entire company.
Who Owns Uber?
Uber is a publicly traded company, which means it is not owned by a single individual and instead is owned and managed by a group of shareholders. Thousands of people, including stockbrokers, investment banks, investors, etc., own Uber shares. Because of this reason people also wonder is Uber profitable?
However, the biggest shareholder of Uber currently is Dara Khosrowshahi, who owns 913,505 shares of Uber, which represents 0.05% of all shares.
After this comes Tony West and Nelson J. Chai, who own 189,032 (0.01%) and 180,528 0.01%, respectively.
What’s The Relationship Between Google & Uber Like Currently?
The sour relationship between Uber and Google has improved considerably.
In February 2023, announced a partnership where Uber will migrate its critical infrastructure to Google Cloud to take advantage of Google’s capabilities, such as Google Maps Platform and Google Ads. Additionally, this will also help Uber to accelerate application development and to modernize its architecture.
Apart from this, to deliver new innovations, the two companies also plan to deepen their engineering collaboration aswell.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber said, “Our partnership with Google centers around a shared commitment to putting customer experience at the forefront of everything we do.” “It is our job to continually improve and reimagine the types of experiences we’re providing through the Uber platform, exceeding expectations every time someone opens the app to go somewhere or get something delivered. We’re excited to deepen our work with Google to deliver new innovations that push the boundaries of what’s possible for transportation, delivery and more.”
Google & Uber started off on good terms, had a huge fight, and now are working together again because both companies share a common dream of providing the best user experience and cutting-edge technology to their customers.
We hope you found your answer to “Did Google Invest In Uber?” in this guide.
Why did Anthony Levandowski leave Google?
Anthony Levandowski was accused of trade secret theft when he downloaded the confidential technical files before he left Google to start his own company.
Does Uber own Lyft?
No, Uber does not own Lyft. Uber did want to buy Lyft, but the deal never went off since Lyft asked for $9 Billion.