Google (GOOG) Launches New Equity Fund to Fuel Later-stage Startups

Google Inc. (GOOG), one of the wealthiest companies in existence, officially launched a new equity fund on Wednesday aimed specifically at growth-stage companies.

Unlike five-year-old Google Ventures, which has been investing in the most promising early-stage startups, Google Capital will invest in companies that are poised for rapid growth.

“[W]e’ll be looking to invest in companies solely as they hit their growth phase”, Google writes on its blog. “That means finding companies that have already built a solid foundation and are really ready to expand their business in big ways.”

Those chosen by the fund will get access to the talent, passion and strategic expertise of some of Google’s technology and product leaders. “While many investors may contribute money and advice to the companies they support, Google Capital is going beyond that and tapping into our greatest assets: our people,” they write.

David Lawee, one of the three partners heading Google Capital and current VP of corporate development at Google, will lead the new venture alongside Google’s Gene Frantz, a private equity veteran, as well as Scott Tierney, who joined Google in 2011 from private equity firm Steelpoint Capital Partners.

Google Capital didn’t provide any specifics in terms of financial figures. But Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the new investment arm has $300 million in fresh capital to put to work this year, much of which will be directed toward online education.

The list of firms that Google Capital has already invested in since plans for its launch were announced last year includes, survey publisher SurveyMonkey, loan provider Lending Club and tech education startup Renaissance Learning.

Google shares are down fractionally at $1201.96 in early trading.

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