UPDATED 08:53 EDT / MARCH 31 2009

Google Now Getting into Venture Capital – Google Ventures – It’s About Time

Google Ventures was announced today by Rich Miner and Bill Maris, Managing Partners, Google Ventures. What is interesting is that I was just at Intel Capital talking to Mike Buckley and we talked about the evolution of corporate venture capital. It’s a new ball game these days in corporate venture capital with all the cutbacks and financial pain being inflected by the financial crisis and no liquidity market.

My Angle: I am curious to see how Google structures their fund. How entrepreneur friendly will they be? Will they be a strategic investor (translation: driven by internal priorities) verses financial profit motive? I will try to get a meeting with Rich and Bill to see what their “Angle” is.

Anyway what does make sense is that Google is finally getting into venture investing. If not for no other reason to have the cash to fund their own also known as Xooglers. It’s about time, but I wonder if they can bring that magic back to venture??

Here is the blog post release from Google.

Today we’re excited to announce Google Ventures, Google’s new venture capital fund. This is Google’s effort to take advantage of our resources to support innovation and encourage promising new technology companies. By borrowing the best practices of top-tier, financially focused venture capital firms and bringing to bear Google’s unique technical expertise and brand, we think we can find young companies with truly awesome potential and encourage their development into successful businesses.

At its core, Google Ventures is charged with finding and helping to develop exceptional start-ups. We’ll be focusing on early stage investments across a diverse range of industries, including consumer Internet, software, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care and, no doubt, other areas we haven’t thought of yet. Central to our effort will be our fellow Googlers, whom we view as a critically important resource to help educate us about potential investments areas and evaluate specific companies.

Economically, times are tough, but great ideas come when they will. If anything, we think the current downturn is an ideal time to invest in nascent companies that have the chance to be the “next big thing,” and we’ll be working hard to find them. If you think you have the next big idea, or if you just want to to learn more, please see our website at www.google.com/ventures.

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