Google's Stimulus Package: A Venture Capital Fund - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
News
3/31/2009
04:30 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google's Stimulus Package: A Venture Capital Fund

The company will invest up to $100 million in consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, bio-tech, and health care startups through Google Ventures.

Having gone from 16 acquisitions in 2007 to two in 2008 and none so far in 2009, Google has changed its focus from buying startups to funding them.

On Tuesday, Google launched Google Ventures, a venture capital fund that aims to promote the growth of new businesses in various sectors, including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean tech, bio-tech, and health care.

Google's VC arm is looking to invest amounts that range from seed funding to millions of dollars, depending upon the needs of the business. The fund reportedly has about $100 million to spend.

"This is Google's effort to take advantage of our resources to support innovation and encourage promising new technology companies," said Google Ventures managing partners Bill Maris and Rich Miner in a blog post. "By borrowing the best practices of top-tier, financially focused venture capital firms and bringing to bear Google's unique technical expertise and brand, we think we can find young companies with truly awesome potential and encourage their development into successful businesses."

The debut of Google Ventures was not entirely unexpected. At a conference for startups earlier this month, Miner was spotted wearing a name tag that said "Google Ventures."

Miner previously led Google's Android development effort. It's not clear whether his involvement in Google Ventures suggests a particular focus on mobile-oriented startups.

While acknowledging that the economic situation at the moment is tough, Maris and Miner observe that great ideas happen all the time and that the downturn is an ideal time to find "the next big thing."

Previously, Google invested in tech companies through its philanthropic arm, Google.org.

Google.org was reorganized in February when Dr. Larry Brilliant handed the reins to Megan Smith, who took over as Google.org's general manager. In announcing his new position as Google's chief philanthropic evangelist, Brilliant said that one of the goals of the transition was to align Google.org more closely with Google's strength in information and technology.

Similarly, Google Ventures aims to leverage the depth of technical expertise at Google to direct its investment decisions. While Google Ventures is focused more on making money than on synergy with Google's goals, Maris told Dow Jones that the fund would be governed by Google's "Don't Be Evil" motto.

In venture capital terms, that may be presumed to mean "Don't Fund Evil." And so far, so good: One of the first companies to receive funding from Google Ventures, Silver Spring Networks, is developing feel-good green networking technology to bring about the much-ballyhooed "smart" energy grid.


InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of green IT strategies. Download the report here (registration required).

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Strategies You Need to Make Digital Transformation Work
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/25/2019
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Data Privacy
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  11/22/2019
News
Watch Out: 7 Digital Disruptions for IT Leaders
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/18/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll