Google is increasing the amount of money it makes available through its venture capital arm, Google Ventures — from $200 million per year to $300 million, according to Reuters. The news agency notes this will push Google Ventures into the “top echelon of corporate venture-capital funds”, putting it on the same footing as more established corporate VC funds like Intel Capital.
The funding increase was also confirmed today by a tweet from the Google Ventures twitter account
Reuters says part of the rationale for the increase is that, being as Google Ventures is a relatively young firm, founded in 2009, some of the startups it has backed are now at later stages — so may need larger cash infusions than it has typically doled out to grow further. The additional $100 million will thus allow Google Ventures to make more later stage financing rounds — typically amounting to tens of millions of dollars per investor.
The news agency quotes Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, saying: “It puts a lot more wood behind the arrow if we need it.” Maris also told Reuters Google Ventures plans to complete one or two deals annually in the $20-$50 million range. To date, the bulk of its investments have been seed stage deals — with some 40 to 50 invests of $250,000 or less per year, and around 15 investments of up to $10 million.
Even more cash could be in the pipeline for Google Ventures in the future, according to Maris, who told Reuters: “Larry [Page, Google CEO] has repeatedly asked me: ‘What do you think you could do with a billion a year?’”
Maris also told TechCrunch: “The bottom line is this is an opportunity-rich world, and we always want to make sure we have the right resources available to invest in the right entrepreneurs at the right time. At Google Ventures Founder and CEO Summit happening today, it’s inspiring to see the 250 entrepreneurs in front of us. In talking it over, we decided that we want more of this, not less.”
Here are some of Google Ventures’ investments this year (according to CrunchBase)