Google Ventures Waves Goodbye To Its European Arm


As the New Year quickly approaches, Google’s venture capital arm is taking on a new name and a new focus for its business.

As The Financial Times reported Monday (Dec. 7), the VC subsidiary, whose previous investments include companies such as Nest Labs, Uber and Medium, will officially be renamed as “GV” this week.

With competition for investments rising as quickly as the valuations of private technology companies, GV has reportedly invested 20 percent less this year compared to last year. FT also said the number of companies GV backed decreased from 57 last year to 34 in 2015.

“The amount of money trying to get into investments has caused prices to go up and negotiating leverage to move to the entrepreneurs,” GV Chief Executive Bill Maris told FT, adding that capital has never been a constraint for the business.

Maris also went on the record Monday to voice his opinion on firms that are taking “way too long to go public.”

“They’re setting the bar so inordinately high they’re making life difficult for themselves,” he explained to FT. “There’s going to be some fallout: some of them will lose a lot of money.”

The problem, as Maris pointed out, is that these long-term lingerers in the private markets could be faced to accept lower valuations if the private market cools even slightly.

The ever-changing startup landscape may also be a reason for Google Ventures making the decision to bring its separate European-focused arm into the GV fold.

While Google Ventures Europe was set up just 18 months ago with a fund of $125 million dedicated exclusively for investing in startups in Europe, GV has decided to move forward without a separate pool of money for its overseas investing.

To date, Google Ventures Europe has only invested in six companies, but Maris emphasized that the fund was not seen as disappointing despite the fact it was unable to meet its investment target “dollar for dollar.”



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