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The Bulletin

Where Google Ventures is putting its money

Posting in Cancer

Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris

Google Ventures stood apart from its investing brethren in the third quarter. The search engine giant's venture capital arm not only completed more deals, but primarily invested in early-stage--a.k.a. riskier--companies, reported the WSJ, which used data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

Google Ventures completed 21 VC deals in the third quarter, 12 of which were first round companies. Three deals were seed financings.

Google's activity in the third quarter was in direct contrast with the rest of the venture community. Venture capitalists had 9 percent fewer deals and invested 32 percent less money ($6.92 billion, in all) from the same quarter last year, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

To date, Google has invested $300 million into more than 130 companies. And the deals keep coming.

For example, online learning startup Clever announced Monday it raised $3 million in seed funding from several Silicon Valley firms and investors including Google Ventures, SV Angel and Y Combinator, VentureBeat reported.

Some startups that caught Google's eye

  • Cozy Services: Gino Zahnd and John Bragg founded Cozy in March 2012 with an aim to help landlords and renters manage their rentals online.
  • Gyft: This San Francisco-based startup has created a digital card platform that enables users to upload, send and redeem gift cards. And yes, they have an iPhone app. The company raised a $1.25 million first round led by Google Ventures.
  • Predilytics: This IT startup uses big data analytics and machine-learning tech to solve problems for the healthcare industry. The seed company's analytic products tackle risk assessment and quality, clinical and care management, customer acquisition and retention and provider payment.

Google Ventures' managing partner (pictured) told the WSJ in a recent interview that what interests him now are "ideas that sound a little crazy." He noted ideas like radical life extension, curing cancer and creating a simulation of the human brain that maps every neuron.

Sometimes those radical ideas are about changing a conventional product. For example, Google Ventures invested in Nest, a company that set out to build a better, smarter thermostat.

Photo: Google Ventures

— By on October 22, 2012, 9:39 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure