Investments

Google Ventures Ex-CEO To Launch Fund

Google Ventures founder Bill Maris, who stepped down as CEO earlier in 2016, is launching a new venture fund and has raised slightly over $230 million.

According to a report in Recode, which cited those who have seen its fundraising deck, the new fund will invest in health care companies. The report noted Maris has already put together a group of limited partners for the fund, which is dubbed Section 32, a reference to Star Trek. Maris is expected to run the fund on his own without naming any other well-heeled partners. Recode noted Maris is one of a number of executives to leave Google parent Alphabet. Maris founded the VC arm of Google in 2009, and by 2015 Google Ventures fund was as big as $2.4 billion. Health care reportedly is a big interest of Maris, noted the report.

Late last year Google Ventures refocused the VC arm of Alphabet, with the Financial Times reporting that the VC subsidiary, whose previous investments include companies such as Nest Labs, Uber and Medium, will officially be renamed 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. The Financial Timesalso 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 the Financial Times, adding that capital has never been a constraint for the business.

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.

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