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Google Plans Venture Capital Arm: WSJ

14 August, 2008

A couple of years ago, Google gave sleepless nights to venture capitalists by picking up technology startups even before VCs spotted them. Now the search engine giant is looking at entering the VC turf directly. Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported (sub. required) that Google is contemplating a venture capital arm.

The report added that David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, will lead the proposed venture capital arm. Google has also hired William Maris, a 33-year-old former entrepreneur who has worked as an investor, to help set up the venture. It appears that Google is still in the process of structuring the arm and the nature of investments that they are likely to target remain unclear.

If the venture arm is indeed set up, then the Mountain View based tech giant would be joining the ranks of other technology companies like Intel Corp (Intel Capital), Qualcomm (Qualcomm Ventures), Nokia (Nokia Growth Capital Partners), Motorola and Cisco Systems who have venture capital arms attached to them.

Interestingly, Google had chosen India to be their first training ground for venture capital initiatives. Google had invested in funds like Erasmic Ventures ( now called the Accel India Fund) and Seedfund as a limited partner and has also aligned itself to Indian Angel Network primarily to get access to startups.

Now it remains to be seen if entrepreneurs who have competing ideas with Google’s will go to them for funding. Selling out to Google was easy but may not be seeking funds.


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Google Plans Venture Capital Arm: WSJ

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