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July 12, 2011

Google Ventures Will Double the Yearly Amount It Invests to $200 Million



Google (News - Alert) Ventures is doubling the amount it invests yearly to $200 million, according to media reports.

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Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal notes that Google Ventures is the venture capital arm of Google, Inc. -- which means it potentially has a lot of resources behind it.

It invests in different sectors and in different stages, the company says on its website. It has invested in the consumer Internet, software and mobile sectors. The firm has also invested in human anti-body discovery and smart grid platforms.

Prior to the doubling of its investment, Google Ventures typically invested about $100 million a year.

It has taken part in seed investments with amounts from a hundred thousand dollars to investments of tens of millions of dollars in late-stage funding rounds, Google Ventures said.

The Journal said that Google Ventures has invested in companies such as Adimab, a yeast-based antibody discovery platform, and CoolPlanetBioFuels, a clean fuels company, as well as consumer Internet companies.

It has also invested in Corduro, a mobile payment company, Kabam, a gaming company, the Journal said.

“As usual, Google thinks big and goes big,” says VentureBeat. Also, Google Ventures had some exits, with ngmoco (News - Alert), HomeAway, and Silver Spring Networks – a smart grid provider that recently filed an IPO, VentureBeat adds.

In October, Ngmoco was purchased by DeNA Co. for $400 million, and HomeAway had an IPO last month, the Journal said.

Google Ventures says the fund is independent from the rest of Google, according to VentureBeat.

But there are some connections to Google. GoogleVentures does tap into Google's database of resumes from applicants to help the companies in its portfolio recruit new employees, VentureBeat said.

It also has something called the "Googlers in Residence" program, where Google employees work at the companies in its portfolio, VentureBeat adds.

It has offices in Cambridge, Mass., Mountain View, Calif., New York and Seattle.

Google Ventures is two years old, according to the Journal. It has doubled its office space in Mountain View, and added five or more employees in the past few months.

In a related story, TMCnet reported in April that Google Ventures announced its second clean energy investment since March—and its first-ever investment outside the United States. Google Ventures will spend about $5 million on a 49 percent stake in a solar photovoltaic power plant located in Brandenburg an der Havel, near Berlin, Germany, says TMCnet.


Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
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