Google Ventures invests at a level on par with Silicon Valley's top venture firms, and it was the fourth most-active venture firm in the United States last year. Yet a Bloomberg Markets profile of the head of Google's VC arm notes that the primary goal of the company's $300+ million per year operation is to attract entrepreneurs; the entrepreneurs in turn will help the company decipher the future business landscape.
The framework for Google Ventures differs from most corporate VC organizations in that it makes investment decisions independent of Google's corporate strategy. According to Bloomberg, "it can back any company it wants, whether or not it fits with Google’s plans."
This approach was specifically designed to appeal to entrepreneurs, who are often skeptical of corporate venture funds. The parent company does not get access to details about startups’ strategy or technology, which is meant to reassure entrepreneurs that they can pitch their ideas without worrying about them being stolen.
What is Google Ventures investing in right now? Interestingly it has become more focused on life sciences over time, with a reported 36% of the fund's assets invested in the sector today, compared with 6% two years ago.
Image source: Bloomberg Business, Google Ventures
-- Clara Shen