Google said today that it is launching its own venture capital fund, called Google Ventures, and says it's "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."
The Wall Street Journal - in a report that was posted online about 15 minutes before Google made it official with its own blog post - said that the company plans to commit $100 million to launch the fund. The Google blog post did not provide any financial details.
In a blog post Google said:
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.
The company acknowledged that we're in tough times economically but added that "great ideas come when they will" and added that 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."
The WSJ story says the company is expected to announce today that former mobile executive Rich Miner and former entrepreneur William Maris, who was hired by Google to start the fund, will be partners of it. The Google blog post was signed by Miner and Maris, Managing Partners.