Google Ventures looks to invest in startup companies

Portfolio companies may be acquired, but that's not the goal, Google says.

Markets may be down and investors depressed but Google apparently believes this is a good time to invest in start-up companies.

On Monday, the company announced the creation of Google Ventures, a venture capital fund that aims to invest in a broad array of technology-related industries.

"We think we can find young companies with truly awesome potential and encourage their development into successful businesses," wrote Bill Maris and Rich Miner, the two executives charged with leading the venture fund, in a post on Google's blog.

Maris has worked with startup companies for 10 years and Miner lead the development of Google's Android operating system for mobile phones, according to Google.

Google Ventures will invest in consumer Internet startups, as well as companies doing software, hardware, clean energy technologies, biotechnology and health care, the fund said on its Web page.

It will invest amounts ranging from seed financing up to "tens of millions of dollars" both on its own and in partnership with other investors.

An investment by Google Ventures does not mean that a company must be acquired by the online search and advertising company.

"Acquisitions by Google of portfolio companies are possible, but this is not the goal or focus of our investment activities. Our focus is building great companies and generating long term financial return," the fund's Web site said.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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