Google Ventures Pulls Back the Veil: Deals in San Diego, Boston, Dallas, and Silicon Valley
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the next Google or the next YouTube or the next Facebook, that would be material to Google in terms of return, and so that is really our core mission,” Maris said.
* So far, the fund is applying very few if any filters to the types of companies it will invest in. The fund has a preference for companies that might be helped by Google’s infrastructure or Google’s technical talent, Maris says, but the companies do not need to be exploring areas that are of strategic importance to Google. “You are going to look at 1,000 ventures in a year, and maybe 50 are exciting, and you give a close look to five, and you invest in three,” Maris said. “If you create a sieve that says we also need them to be strategically important to Google, that not only implies we know what we will be important to Google five or 10 years from now, which is really difficult, but it also means you might be narrowing the companies down to zero.”
* Google Ventures has announced only one life sciences investment so far—Adimab. (Luke wrote about Google’s effort to pour not only cash but computational power into Adimab’s method for discovering antibody-based drugs.) But Maris, who has a research background in neurobiology, says the company is “aggressively looking at other life sciences companies, and you should expect to see future investments in that area.” Google isn’t interested in funding “a company moving one therapy from Phase 2 to Phase 3 clinical trials,” Maris said. “We are looking for companies that have transformative technologies or are tackling new problems in new ways, things like regenerative medicine to bioinformatics.”
* Google Ventures will likely expand beyond its current footprint at the Googleplex Mountain View and the Five Cambridge Center offices in Kendall Square. “Interesting ventures are not limited to Silicon Valley and Cambridge,” Maris said. “We believe in being where innovation is. So yes, I do imagine [that the fund will open new offices], and stay tuned because that is very possible.”
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