General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) will invest $500 million in Lyft Inc., giving the ride-hailing startup a valuation of $5.5 billion and a major ally in the global battle against Uber Technologies Inc.

The investment, part of a $1 billion financing round for Lyft, is the biggest move by an automaker to date when it comes to grappling with the meteoric rise of the ride-hailing industry.

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