David Krane, a partner in Google Ventures, begun more than three years ago, was Google employee 84. He started in corporate communications 13 years ago, which makes him ancient at a company that still seems rather new. But now Krane is involved in bringing the company's vast resources and experience to startups.
Google Ventures is a $200 million fund, operated as a completely independent entity within Google, Krane said during a recent visit to InformationWeek's Valley View (our monthly live Web TV show). There are 55 people at Google Ventures, which includes eight investment partners making the decisions, and then a team of engineers, product designers, recruiters, and marketers who provide some of the muscle for Google's investments. The team is measured not by the strategic value the companies provide back to Google, but simply by financial return Krane said.
In fact, Google Ventures prides itself on being hands on, and that is its main differentiator Krane said. There's even a startup lab, which serves as a "small university for entrepreneurs."
One of Google Ventures' most recent investments was Cliqr, a company that helps manage cloud migration. Other successes include NgMoco, a mobile gaming company, and HomeAway, a vacation rental specialist that went public last year.
In the video embedded below, Krane talks to us about how Google Ventures works, and some of the trends he's seeing from startups.
Fritz Nelson is the editorial director for InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.
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