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Google Ventures

Corporate venture capital firm in California that focuses on life sciences, consumer, and frontier technology sectors.
Google Ventures
Leadership team

Abi Joyce (Executive Business Partner)

Alex Wiltschko (Entrepreneur in Residence)

Allie Hexner (Executive Talent Researcher)

Andy Wheeler (General Partner)

Anika Gupta (Principal)

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
Mountain View, California, United States
Established
2009
Social Media
Summary

GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) is the venture capital arm of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc. It was founded in 2009 by Bill Maris and is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with additional offices in San Francisco, New York City, Cambridge, and London. GV provides seed, venture, and growth-stage funding to technology companies across a wide range of industries.

GV operates as an independent venture firm, although it is owned by Google/Alphabet. It has a team of engineers, designers, physicians, scientists, marketers, and investors who work together to support the startups in which they invest. The goal is to provide exceptional support and guidance to these companies on their path to success.

The investment focus of GV spans various sectors, including technology, biotechnology, life sciences, healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cybersecurity, and agriculture. They seek to invest in innovative companies that have the potential for significant growth and disruptive impact.


History

Google Ventures (GV), now known as GV, is a prominent venture capital firm and the investment arm of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google. Founded on March 31, 2009, by Bill Maris, GV was initially established as Google Ventures with a $100 million capital commitment. It aimed to provide funding and support to startups in various industries, with a focus on technology, biotechnology, healthcare, and more.

From its inception, GV operated as an independent entity, separate from Google's core search and advertising business. The firm's goal was to combine the resources and expertise of Google with the agility and innovation of a venture capital firm. This unique approach allowed GV to provide startups with not only financial support but also strategic guidance and access to Google's extensive network and technologies.

In its early years, GV made significant investments in a diverse range of companies. It focused on backing startups with disruptive ideas and strong growth potential. Some of GV's notable early investments included companies like Nest Labs, Uber, and Slack, which went on to become major players in their respective industries.

Over time, GV expanded its investment focus beyond technology and internet-based startups. It ventured into areas such as biotechnology, life sciences, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cybersecurity, and agriculture. This broadened scope allowed GV to support innovation across various sectors and contribute to advancements in science, healthcare, and sustainability.

In December 2015, GV underwent a rebranding process and changed its name from Google Ventures to GV. The new name reflected its independent identity and emphasized its commitment to providing venture capital services beyond the Google brand.

GV's investment approach involves a team of experienced professionals, including engineers, designers, physicians, scientists, marketers, and investors. This diverse team works closely with portfolio companies, offering strategic guidance, operational support, and expertise in areas such as product management, design, marketing, engineering, and recruiting. GV's goal is to help startups overcome challenges, accelerate their growth, and achieve long-term success.

As of now, GV manages approximately $2.4 billion in assets and continues to be an active player in the venture capital industry. It invests around $500 million annually in startups and seeks out companies with innovative ideas, strong leadership teams, and disruptive potential. GV's global presence allows it to invest in startups located in different regions, providing support to entrepreneurs worldwide.


Investment criteria

Google Ventures (GV) follows specific investment criteria when considering potential investment opportunities. While the exact details may vary depending on the specific circumstances and industry, the following are some key factors that GV typically evaluates:

  • Innovative Founders: GV seeks out founders who are innovative, passionate, and have a clear vision for their company. They look for entrepreneurs who are dedicated to solving significant problems and are capable of driving the company forward.
  • Potential for Long-Term Impact: GV focuses on investments that have the potential for long-term impact and growth. They seek companies that are working on ideas or technologies that can disrupt industries or create substantial positive change.
  • Scalable Business Models: GV looks for startups with scalable business models that can achieve significant growth and generate substantial returns. They assess whether the company has the potential to expand its customer base, enter new markets, or create new revenue streams over time.
  • Market Opportunity: GV evaluates the size and growth potential of the target market for the company's product or service. They assess whether there is a clear demand and market need for what the company offers, as well as the potential for the company to gain a significant market share.
  • Differentiation and Competitive Advantage: GV looks for startups that have a unique value proposition and a competitive advantage over existing solutions or competitors. They assess whether the company has developed proprietary technology, intellectual property, or a distinct approach that sets them apart in the market.
  • Team and Execution Capability: GV evaluates the founding team's experience, expertise, and track record in their respective industry. They assess the team's ability to execute their business plan, make strategic decisions, and adapt to market dynamics.
  • Alignment with GV's Expertise: GV considers whether they can add value beyond capital investment. They look for opportunities where their technical expertise, industry knowledge, and network can provide meaningful support to the company and contribute to its success.

Values

Google Ventures (GV) is guided by a set of core values that shape its approach to venture capital and influence its interactions with founders, portfolio companies, and the broader entrepreneurial community. These values reflect GV's commitment to excellence, integrity, collaboration, and long-term impact:

  • Founder-Centric: GV places founders at the centre of its investment philosophy. The firm deeply values the entrepreneurial spirit, vision, and expertise of founders. GV actively seeks to understand their goals, challenges, and aspirations, providing unwavering support and guidance throughout their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Innovation and Impact: GV is driven by a passion for innovation and a desire to make a positive impact on the world. The firm seeks out companies that have the potential to disrupt industries, solve complex problems, and create transformative solutions. GV believes that by investing in visionary founders, it can contribute to meaningful change and advance societal progress.
  • Intellectual Honesty: GV values intellectual honesty and embraces diverse perspectives. The firm fosters an environment where open and candid discussions are encouraged. GV's team of experts and industry veterans engage in rigorous analysis and critical thinking to evaluate investment opportunities objectively and make informed decisions.
  • Operational Excellence: GV is committed to operational excellence in every aspect of its work. The firm applies rigorous due diligence, strategic thinking, and a data-driven approach to identify and evaluate investment opportunities. GV's operational partners provide hands-on support to portfolio companies, leveraging their expertise to help founders build robust businesses.
  • Long-Term Vision: GV takes a long-term view of investments, focusing on building enduring companies that have a lasting impact. The firm believes in the power of patient capital and strives to create an environment where companies can thrive and grow sustainably over time. GV's commitment to long-term vision extends beyond financial returns and encompasses societal and environmental considerations.
  • Collaboration and Partnership: GV values collaboration and the power of strong partnerships. The firm actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with founders, co-investors, and industry experts. GV leverages its extensive network and the collective wisdom of its team to provide founders with access to resources, mentorship, and strategic connections.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: GV recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation and fostering creativity. The firm is dedicated to creating an inclusive and equitable ecosystem that embraces diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. GV actively promotes diversity within its own team and seeks to support founders from underrepresented communities.

Mission

The mission of Google Ventures (GV) is to support and empower founders in their pursuit of building innovative and impactful companies. GV aims to be a trusted partner to these founders, providing them with the resources, expertise, and network they need to succeed.

GV's mission is centred around the belief that by investing in visionary entrepreneurs and their groundbreaking ideas, significant positive change can be brought about in various industries and sectors. The firm seeks out founders who are addressing the world's biggest challenges and offers them not only financial capital but also strategic guidance and operational support.


Portfolio

Google Ventures (GV) has built an extensive and diverse portfolio of investments across a wide range of industries. The portfolio consists of both early-stage startups and more mature companies that have demonstrated significant growth potential and align with GV's investment thesis. Some notable companies in GV's portfolio include:

  • Uber: GV was an early investor in Uber, the global ride-hailing and food delivery platform. Uber has disrupted the transportation industry and become one of the most valuable startups in the world.
  • Nest: GV invested in Nest, a company that revolutionized the home automation and smart thermostat market. Nest was acquired by Google (now Alphabet) in 2014, showcasing the synergies between GV and its parent company.
  • Slack: GV participated in the funding rounds of Slack, a popular team collaboration and communication platform. Slack's intuitive interface and robust features have made it a go-to tool for businesses worldwide.
  • GitLab: GV has backed GitLab, a web-based platform for version control and collaboration on code repositories. GitLab provides developers with an integrated set of tools for the entire DevOps lifecycle.
  • Flatiron Health: Flatiron Health is a healthcare technology company focused on improving cancer patient care and outcomes. GV recognized the potential of Flatiron Health's data-driven approach to oncology and invested in the company, which was later acquired by Roche.
  • Verve Therapeutics: GV supported Verve Therapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to developing gene editing therapies for cardiovascular diseases. Verve Therapeutics aims to transform the treatment of heart disease using innovative genetic technologies.
  • One Medical: One Medical is a membership-based primary care platform that offers personalized and convenient healthcare services. GV's investment in One Medical helped fuel its expansion and growth in the telemedicine and digital health space.

These are just a few examples from GV's diverse portfolio, which also includes companies in sectors such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, agriculture, life sciences, and more. GV's investments span North America and Europe, reflecting their global reach and interest in promising startups across different geographies.


References
Google Ventures
Leadership team

Abi Joyce (Executive Business Partner)

Alex Wiltschko (Entrepreneur in Residence)

Allie Hexner (Executive Talent Researcher)

Andy Wheeler (General Partner)

Anika Gupta (Principal)

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
Mountain View, California, United States
Established
2009
Social Media