By Phin Upham
When technology companies want to grow, they need venture capitalists that are willing to fund their ideas. Capitalists come in all sizes, from individual investors to groups. Google Ventures is one of the more active groups in the tech scene, recognized mostly for the ambitious immortality project, but the group has successfully funded many ventures that shape how we interact with technology on a daily basis.
Google Ventures provides seed funding, for companies who need to develop. This seed funding is exactly what the name implies, it’s an initial injection of capital and it’s meant to give the developer the time and money needed to launch a working version of the project. Seed money is given with the knowledge that it will not lead to the final product, only a working work-in-progress.
Venture funding is a part of that seed process. Seeds are done in rounds, so it’s common to read about venture capital raised for series A or B. Investors purchase preferred stock, which is what the “series A” means. This preferred stock usually comes before common stock, which is the kind sold to friends and family members who want to invest in your work.
Google Ventures was founded in March of 2009, and has made significant investments in Silicon Valley companies since. It raises $300 million annually, and currently manages somewhere around $1.5 billion in assets. The fund promotes ventures in clean-tech, biotech, health care, the Internet and software markets primarily. Google also launched a European fund in 2014, which dedicated $100 million to ventures in Europe.
Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.