What Would You Invest in if You Were Google?
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Google Ventures is investing in coupon startup Whaleshark Media. Then reports came out about Google Ventures investing in Rocket Lawyer.
Google has so many of its own projects going on at any given time, but the company maintains that the majority of its resources are still being put into the company’s core businesses – search and advertising. “That’s our core focus,” CEO Larry Page recently told investors, saying that they’re not betting the farm on things like self-driving cars.
But Google Ventures, Google’s investment arm, is putting its eggs in quite a few different baskets. “We look at companies in a wide variety of sectors and stages. Many of our investments are in the areas you might expect, such as consumer Internet, software, and mobile — but we’re also backing companies in areas that might surprise you — from human anti-body discovery to smart grid platforms,” Google Ventures says. “We aim to invest about $100 million a year, with deal sizes ranging from seed investments as small as a hundred thousand dollars to late-stage investments of tens of millions of dollars.”
So just what is Google Ventures investing in?
Google Ventures invests in Adimab, a platform for yeast-based antibody discovery.
Social Learning Games for Kids
The firm invests in Airy Labs, which creates learning games for kids between the ages of 5 and 13.
Google Ventures invests in CoolPlanetBioFuels, which works to develop these kinds of fuels using plant photosynthesis.
Google Ventures invests in English Central, which uses web videos to create language learning experiences. “Google Ventures has opened many doors for us into the wider Google ecosystem,” says Founder/CEO Alan Schwartz. “From YouTube through Android connections, we have benefited from Google Ventures’ unique status as a financial investor, with deep strategic tentacles. This has been much more than mere intros to potential partners or potentially useful technology complements; it has also included intros to experts on areas like user experience and conversion.”
Offline Information Discovery
Google Ventures invests in Hipster, which is described as “a fun way to help uncover the vast amount of information about real world locations that isn’t yet available online.”
Google Ventures invests in iPierian, which works in cellular repogramming in creating therapeutics.
Google invests in LawPivot, a legal Q&A site that connects companies with crowdsourced legal answers from legal professionals.
Google Ventures invests in American car company Next Autoworks, which it says will introduce a safe, high-quality fuel-efficient car for the U.S. market.
Predicting the Future
Google invests in Recorded Future. We looked at this before. It’s essentially a tool that predicts the future when you enter the what, the who/where and the when.
Google invests in Relay Rides, which the company says, “enables car owners to make money while providing those in need of a car with affordable access to one.”
Retail Price Tracking
Google invests in Shopobot, which tracks price changes at popular stores.
The firm invests in WeatherBill, which provides weather insurance products that are described as “technologically advanced.”
That’s not everything that Google Ventures invests in, but are some of the most outside the box companies and areas. You can see all of the companies Google Ventures invests in here.
Fortune’s Dan Primack brings up an interesting question, following Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility: “Will Google and Motorola ‘venture’ together?”