Remember a few weeks back when Sidecar announced that it’ll no longer be competing with the likes of Lyft and Uber, and will be exiting the ride-sharing market? Well, most of the assets and technology that belonged to the company has apparently been acquired by General Motors, which has expressed a lot of interest in the ride-sharing market. The automaker has already helped invest $500 million into Lyft, and has teamed up with the company to further both of their ride-sharing ambitions, but it’s not clear how the acquisition of Sidecar’s assets will affect that relationship.
General Motors Co. is following up its $500 million bet on Lyft Inc. with another flashy, though far less costly, move to fortify itself against the rise of Uber Technologies Inc. The automaker has acquired the technology and most of the assets of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing pioneer Sidecar Technologies Inc. GM is also bringing on board around 20 employees from the Sidecar team, including co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Jahan Khanna. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sunil Paul is not joining GM. The price of the transaction was not disclosed, although a person familiar with the matter said it was less than the roughly $39 million that Sidecar raised in its failing effort to compete with much better-financed rivals like Uber and Lyft. David Roman, a GM spokesman, said the assets and employees would support the Lyft alliance and other efforts at the automaker. The deal is another sign that automakers are waking up to the threat Uber poses to the traditional auto industry. On Jan. 4, GM announced it had invested $500 million in Lyft as part of a $1 billion round that valued the company at $5.5 billion. Daniel Ammann, GM’s president, joined Lyft’s board as part of the deal.