By Natasha Lomas
Google (GOOG) 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 since Google Ventures is a relatively young firm (it was founded in 2009), some of the startups it has backed are now at later stages — so it may need larger cash infusions than it has typically doled out to grow further. Thus, the additional $100 million will 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 that 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 investments 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?’”
Here are some of Google Ventures’ investments this year (according to CrunchBase):