MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JANUARY 5: Attendees wait for the beginning of the Google Nexus One Android smart phone unveiling at Google's headquarters January 5, 2010 in Mountain View, California. Google announced the Nexus One smart phone that was designed in a partnership with cell phone maker HTC. (Photo by Robert Galbraith-Pool/Getty Images)
Google's venture capital arm of its company gets a boost of $100 million, raising its funds to $300 million a year -- and making Google one of the top corporate venture-capital funds.
The reason? It means that Google Ventures will be able to partake in later investment rounds and equals the highest echelon of corporate venture capital funds, such as Intel's Intel Capital, according to Reuters.
"It puts a lot more wood behind the arrow if we need it," Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, told Reuters.
Because Google Ventures is so young, many of the companies it backed a few years ago are now in the later stages of development and need big cash infusions to keep growing. An additional $100 million a year can keep Google Ventures incubating those businesses. Typically it funds around 45 "seed stage" projects that take $250,000 or less, and then about 15 deals where it invests up to $10 million, Maris said.
Perhaps another reason for more money is that Google doesn't have a "superstar" company yet, or one that has a tremendous amount of appeal or cachet. HomeAway and Relay Rides are nice, but not exactly a Twitter or Pinterest.
One of the reasons Google has created a venture capital arm was to invest in hot, new startups -- and we think to get in on the ground floor of a good thing. Google is large and its innovation is not as great as hot young startups, where one person can make all of the decisions. Still, the idea Reuters floats that it wants a Twitter or Pinterest seems a bit ridiculous. With the thousands of startups out there, few get to the status of those two companies. It would be like winning the lottery.
Still, the new cash infusion will help Google find and fund more projects, and that's never a bad idea for technological innovation.