Here’s what Google says about its own VC fund’s goals: “Google Ventures is broadly interested in startups in industries including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care and others. First and foremost, we're looking for entrepreneurs who are tackling problems in creative and innovative ways.”
We know Google has already put $100-million into its VC arm. That’s modest by VC fund standards. Announcements of billion-dollar funds are not unheard-of in the VC world. Silicon Valley’s NEA has announced it has raised $2.5 billion in VC cash. So this year may tell whether Google becomes truly big in the VC world, or just a minor player with a big name Either way few start-ups would turn down a Googlecash infusion even if it was only a modest sum. Imagine the publicity IF it was made public. But there are still secret Google Venture ventures.
So far we know of one Google Venture into cleantech. They’ve put money into Silver Spring Networks. This Silicon Valley firm (Based in Redwood City) provides smart grid services for utility companies. Besides Google, Silver Spring has investments from Foundation Capital, JVB Properties, Kleiner Perkins, Northgate Capital. This makes it clear that Google is not seeking exclusivity or sole ownership in its VC efforts. If Google Ventures acts like other major VCs we will see investments in many start-ups getting cash from various sources, not just Google.