Jaguar Land Rover and InMotion Ventures Put $25 Million into Lyft Ridesharing Platform

By - Jaguar Land Rover Lyft Investment

Investment will give InMotion Ventures an opportunity to improve its mobility services and provide Lyft drivers with access to Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

As rewarding as it can be to own your own car, the fact is that ridesharing is big business these days. Lining up a ride in a car you don’t have to maintain is as easy as swiping and tapping your smartphone. Soon you’ll be able to do that through Lyft and get picked up in a new Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle.

Jaguar Land Rover announced its mobility services business InMotion Ventures has invested $25 million in the Lyft ride-sharing platform. Not only will that allow Lyft to expand (it’s currently in more than 350 cities across the U.S.), but it’ll also give InMotion Ventures the opportunity to improve and test its products and services, including autonomous vehicles. On top of that, Lyft drivers will get to wheel around in Jaguars and Land Rovers.

According to JLR, “InMotion’s latest investment follows its recent seed investment in SPLT, the Detroit-based digital carpool business, which works with Lyft to provide non-emergency medical transport.”

This announcement follows news from a few weeks ago that JLR welcomed the two newest startups into its Portland Tech Incubator program. For six months, the automaker will assist each company by providing financial investment, services, and development support. One of the companies, LISNR, is concentrating on in-car connectivity tied into seat personalization, remote apps, and keyless entry. The other startup, PILOT, is working on ways to apply modern advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to cars that are already on the road. Ultimately, it intends to create a path from ADAS to autonomous car functionality – right up InMotion Ventures’ alley.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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