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Google Capital: Meet the $300 million cousin to Google Ventures

Image Credit: Google

$300 million.

That’s the new venture pot called Google Capital that Google officially rolled out Wednesday.

The fund, with a 15-member investment team, aims to score in a range of industries including IT and maybe even bricks and mortars. The prerequisites for investing are simple: growth stage companies — not startups — with a “solid business model” and in a position for “explosive growth,” according to a Google spokesperson.

Google made clear the fund is a cousin to Google Ventures, the Mountain View giant’s main venture arm, which was launched in 2009. Google Ventures has invested in 225 startups so far with $1.5 billion under management.

Google Capital will be based at the Googleplex. It has been operating for a year in relative stealth mode. Google Capital officially unveiled its website early Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Google Capital announced a $40 million investment in the cloud based e-learning outfit Renaissance Learning, a revenue generating, 1,000-employee outfit headquartered in a small snow filled Wisconsin town. The $40 million means Google now owns a bit less than 5 percent of the company.

Its two previous investments include Lending Club, a peer to peer loan offering site, and Survey Monkey, which does online survey analytics. Google declined to say how big those investments were.

Companies finding themselves recipients of Google Capital cash can expect access to all channels of the company’s operations, including leadership and IT services, among others.

Google Capital is being led by partners David Lawee, Scott Tierney, and Gene Frantz. They answer to Google senior vice president David Drummond.

The Google spokesperson said there is no fixed timetable for investments and initially the venture arm will be making “five or six investments per year.”

Partner Gene Frantz may be the team member to watch. He already has solid VC chops, having spent durations of his career at TPG Capital, Morgan Stanley, and Oracle Ventures. He has successfully straddled both traditional investing in mid- to late-stage growth companies in addition to tech.

 

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