CB Insights Report – Google Ventures Slows Down

Founded in 2009, Google Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of Google Inc. and provides seed, venture, and growth stage funding to technology companies. The firm operates independently from Google and makes financially driven investment decisions. Google Ventures has quickly established itself as one of the more high-profile names in venture capital today and the most active firm in corporate venture capital.

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In 2015, Google Ventures completed its lowest number of new and follow-on deals in a year’s first half since 2012 and 39% less deals than in 2014’s first half, when the firm completed a record 50 new and follow-on deals.

A few of Google Ventures’ recent new deals include:

– Farmers Business Network’s $15M Series A in May, which Google Ventures led. Farmers Business Network is a data-driven farmer-to-farmer network.

– Kobalt’s $60M Series C round in February, with participation from MSD Capital and MSDC Management. London-based Kobalt provides music publishing, analytics and global music rights management services.

– Slack’s $120M Series D in October 2014 at a $1.1B valuation, co-led with Kleiner Perkins.

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A few of Google Ventures’ recent notable deals include:

– Cloudera’s $160 million Series F round (which ballooned to $900M after an investment by Intel) in March alongside T. Rowe Price and an affiliate of MSD Capital, the private investment firm of Dell founder Michael Dell.

– Uber’s $1.2 billion Series D round of funding in June, the bulk of which came from mutual fund investors Fidelity Investments, BlackRock and Wellington Management. This is following their role in Uber’s $258 million Series C round last August; since then, Uber’s valuation has jumped from $3.5 billion to $18.2 billion.

– Flatiron Health’s Series B round in May, in which the firm led the $130 million financing. This deal represents Google Ventures’ largest investment in a health IT startup to date.

Google Ventures’ Partners

– Bill Maris is Managing Partner at Google Ventures and is regarded as the founder of the corporate venture unit in 2009. His investments include Nest Labs, Uber, and 23andMe. He sits on the boards of Nest Labs and biotech company Adimab and has a particular interest in next generation life sciences and artificial intelligence, evidenced by his idea to create Calico, a biotech company focused on fighting human aging.

– David Krane is Managing Partner at Google Ventures. His investments include Uber, Blue Bottle Coffee, CircleUp and Urban Engines. He previously served at Google’s director of Global Communications and Public Affairs.

– Joe Kraus, co-founder of Excite and JotSpot, is General Partner with investments in the likes of Kabam, TuneIn, and Pocket. He has also been an active angel investor in several companies, such as LinkedIn, Aardvark, Kongregate, and OpenCandy. Kraus is on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Clean Power Finance, and MyLikes.

– Rich Miner, co-founder of Android, is a General Partner and leads Google Ventures’ East Coast investment team. His investments include MessageMe, Enterproid, CustomMade, and Hubspot. He sits on the boards for Crittercism, EnglishCentral, VigLink, and Recorded Future.

– Krishna Yeshwant, leads Google Ventures’ investments in the digital health and healthcare sectors, where he sits on the boards for Flatiron Health, DNAnexus and One Medical Group.

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SOURCE: CB Insights, Google Ventures

PHOTO: VentureBeat