Today's venture capital firms are obsessed with finding the next Facebook, Twitter, Google, Uber, etc. The tech craze of today has even inspired tech firms to open up their own capital venture arms, in an attempt to capture some of this lucrative, untapped profit. With tech valuations through the roof, the children of venture capital funding are looking to adopt some young tech stars of their own.
Google Capital's portfolio has many tech companies whose value is created by the consumers themselves. Duolingo, an app that allows anyone to learn languages for free, has learners translating articles, and community contributors creating articles. Duolingo generates revenue by having learners translate articles and documents submitted by businesses and organizations (who pay Duolingo for the translated articles). Duolingo simply facilitates the trade, acting almost as a brokerage between translators and businesses. Lending Club
The remaining companies in Google Capital's portfolio are based around the Software as a Service (Saas) business model. One example is Gusto, an online HR platform for managing payrolls, worker's compensation payments, health benefits, and other employee services for businesses. Other Saas businesses in Google Capital's portfolio are Freshdesk, a customer support platform that services other business' customer support needs remotely over phone, email, social networks etc., and Credit Karma, a free credit and financial management platform that provides free credit reports and financial analyses for its users, gaining revenue from financial services and products advertisements.
There are two companies Google Capital's portfolio, Oscar, a health insurance carrier, and Inno Light, an optical electronic component manufacturer, who are not online brokerages, nor a Saas business. They are unlike the rest of Google's portfolio, but have potential-Oscar has a $2.7 billion valuation, and InnoLight is a leading optical transceiver supplier in China.
GV (Google Ventures), Google Capital's sister company, invests in companies in far earlier stages of development compared to Google Capital. Some notable investments include Uber, currently valued at $50 billion, Medium, a blogging platform that uses algorithms to serve blog posts catered to specific users, and 23andMe, a biotech firm that tests customers' DNA for signs of disease, and provides information about relatives and ancestors. In general, GV's portfolio has many Saas companies and brokerages like Google Capital's portfolio, however, it also contains companies that are much more untested in comparison.
Tech startups are everywhere today. Venture capital helped to fund Google's early stages of growth, and helped it grow to be the $500 billion tech giant it is today. Now, Google wants a piece of the action and find its very own start-up "Google".