Feb 19th 2014, 17:53, by Alex Wilhelm
Google is amping up its investing efforts, today announcing Google Capital, a “growth stage” investment effort that has already put money into SurveyMonkey, Renaissance Learning, and Lending Club.
Put simply, Google Ventures will invest in technology companies that are early or mid stage. Tech companies that are looking to accelerate growth after proving product-market fit could call Google Capital instead for a larger check.
That firm is led by three partners: David Lawee, Gene Frantz, and Scott Tierney, and right now doesn’t have a stated cap limit. (Update: According to Bloomberg, Google Capital has $300 million in capital to spend.)
Google Capital, along with Google Ventures, is an outgrowth of the incredible cash wealth of established technology companies, and the simple fact that what comes next has been the consistent bane of leaders in the tech market. Provided capable stewardship, the venture funds will give their parent company a window into what’s coming up in technology, and early looks into buying what could disrupt its core cash flows.
Microsoft also operates its own venture fund, Microsoft Ventures, but that effort is on a far smaller scale than Google’s efforts. Microsoft could afford to do more, but perhaps its DNA as a Redmond-based company makes investing in a Silicon Valley gambit a touch more outside.
For now, later-stage venture capitalists have a new, exorbitantly wealthy competitor named Google.