Google’s VC arm is handing more and more cash out to entrepreneurs, says BusinessWeek, in an overview of the latest surge in corporate VC investing. Such increases accompany most late-stage bull markets, but in Google’s case–unlike most others–this practice is likely to be both strategically and financially rewarding. Even if Google’s investments fail to earn an impressive rate of return, they will ensure that Google sees many of the latest, greatest entrepreneurs and business plans before they even get funded–a worthwhile expenditure for any industry incumbent hungry for new ideas and eager to avoid being disrupted.
According to BusinessWeek, corporate VC has increased 30% this year, from $1 billion (350 deals) in the first half of last year to $1.3 billion (390 deals) this year. Most corporations will be late to this party, and will shut down their cash-shoveling efforts just when the opportunities are greatest–at the trough of the cycle. For Google and other massive, cash-gushing businesses, however, building a disciplined, formal VC practice is smart business, and Google is doing it worldwide–directly and through third-party VC firms such as Mumbai’s Seedfund. BusinessWeek