The fund’s FAQ says they’ll invest in just about any type of startup (“consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care and others”) and they’re willing to invest just about any amount you might need (“from seed funding to tens of millions of dollars, depending on the stage of the opportunity and the company’s need for capital”). It’s not exactly what you’d call a tight investment focus, but hey, it’s not like they need to worry about keeping limited partners happy so they can raise the next fund.
They’re also happy to invest along side other venture firms and strategic partners. No other commercial arrangement, such as a partnership, is required (so no, you don’t have to build your service on App Engine).
This is, Google says, their primary engine for venture-style investments going forward.
The FAQs also say the fund will be actively involved with investments (“We believe that our active involvement will help to create value, so we look to work with management teams to maximize the impact of our investment and their technology or innovation”). That may be somewhat over-ambitious, depending on how many investments they actually make. There are only two partners after all.
Is this a good investor for your startup? The cachet of having Google behind you is great for marketing. But if you think you have the next new Google-killer search idea, you may want to bake it a while before showing the technology to these guys.