Google announced the launch of a new growth equity fund called Google Capital. It’s backed by the company, and led by partners David Lawee, Scott Tierney and Gene Frantz.
Google describes the fund as a growth-stage business counterpart to Google Ventures, which launched five years ago.
“Like our colleagues at Google Ventures, our goal is to invest in the most promising companies of tomorrow, with one important difference,” says Lawee. “While Google Ventures focuses mainly on early-stage investments, we’ll be looking to invest in companies solely as they hit their growth phase. That means finding companies that have already built a solid foundation and are really ready to expand their business in big ways. We’ll look across a range of industries for companies with new technologies and proven track records in their fields. Our investments to date include SurveyMonkey, Lending Club and Renaissance Learning—with many more to come.”
Google Capital, while previously unnamed officially, has been around for over a year. The SurveyMonkey investment took place in January 2013. The LendingClub investment followed in May. The Renaissance Learning investment is new though (it’s $40 million).
If you’re unfamiliar with these companies, SurveyMonkey provides online survey solutions, LendingClub is a low-rate banking alternative, and Renaissance Learning provides cloud-based education solutions.
“But it’s not just a monetary investment for us,” says Lawee. “The most important—and distinctive—feature of Google Capital is how we work with our portfolio companies. Over the past 15 years, Google has built a strong business, and that’s mostly thanks to the great people who work here. Our portfolio companies have abundant access to the talent, passion and strategic expertise of some of Google’s technology and product leaders. While many investors may contribute money and advice to the companies they support, Google Capital is going beyond that and tapping into our greatest assets: our people. They help us succeed, and we believe they can help our portfolio companies do the same.”
Here’s the full Google Capital investment team:
Advisors include a number of high profile Googlers including Sundar Pichai, David Drummond, Alan Eustace, Amit Singh and quite a few others. You can see the full list here.
Image via Google