Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Google Ventures Stalks Start Ups

Here we go.. total world domination. Google announced on Monday that it is creating a venture fund. 'Google Ventures' is expected to invest up to $100mn over the next twelve months, according to the New York Times. The guy in charge will be David Drummond, investments will be vetted by William Maris and Rich Milner, a co-founder of Android who Google acquired in 2005.

The fund is looking at clean tech, life sciences and, of course, Internet related entities.

“Economically, times are tough, but great ideas come when they will,” Google said in its announcement of the new venture fund on its official company blog. “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.”

Google Ventures has already made two investments: Silver Spring Networks, a company that makes technology to help manage electric grids, and Pixazza, which links online images with related products that can be purchased. Google declined to say how much it invested in those companies.

As much as this is news it is just a formalisation of Google's investing role which has seen it hoover up many companies over the 10 years it has been in business.

It is bizzare to think that Google has only been around for the last ten years. My son who, like any other teenager, is an Internet whizz, said to me yesterday "if you had invested in Google when you were my age, you would very rich now". When I explained that Google had been around only since 1999, he chortled (you know, that laugh when your kids are really saying 'man you are so old and out of touch') and said "Dad, listen.. Google is the Internet, I think it has been around a lot longer than that"...

He is factually incorrect of course, but the addition of this venture fund is just the next step in the total domination of the Net that is Google.

Good or bad you have to admire them for their flawless execution of being branded in the minds of kids as a company that is the Internet.

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