Google Ventures to spend US$100m to find ‘the next big thing’

31 Mar 2009

Armed with a US$100m war chest, Google has launched a new venture-capital (VC) arm that will invest in early stage tech businesses across a broad variety of fields.

Google describes the new Google Ventures operation as its effort to take advantage of its resources to support innovation and encourage promising new technology companies.

“By borrowing the best practices of top-tier, financially focused VC 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,” said Rich Miner, managing partner at Google Ventures, on the Google blog.

At its core, Google Ventures is charged with finding and helping to develop exceptional start-ups.

“We’ll be focusing on early stage investments across a diverse range of industries, including consumer internet, software, clean-tech, biotech, healthcare and, no doubt, other areas we haven’t thought of yet,” said Bill Maris, also a managing partner at Google Ventures.

“Central to our effort will be our fellow Googlers, whom we view as a critically important resource to help educate us about potential investments areas and evaluate specific companies.”

Maris and Miner acknowledged that, economically, times are tough, but believe great ideas come when they will.

“If anything, we think the current downturn is an ideal time to invest in nascent companies that have the chance to be the ‘next big thing’, and we’ll be working hard to find them,” they said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years