Interview with Google Ventures co-founder Rich Miner

Scott Kirsner interviews Rich Miner, co-founder of Android who recently switched from Google mobile to start Google Ventures with Bill Maris. (I’ve spent time with both Rich and Bill and I think they are doing many things right at Google Ventures.)

  • iPhone is a great Google phone
  • Android phones will overtake iPhones bu 2010 or 2011
  • Apple has very different views about how mobile app economics should be split than does Google. (Google is attacking Apple smartly through openness and rev sharing with operators.)
  • Google Ventures got $100M for its first year. Think of it as a first drawdown on a larger fund.
  • They are not a strategic investor. They want to invest for financial return, regardless of overlap with Google’s business.
  • They’ll inherit the cleantech investments of Google.org
  • A lot of the dealflow is coming from Google employees.
  • Google ventures plans to mine the activity stream captured through Google toolbar to catch interesting new trends/startups. Of course, they’ll do this in an anonymous manner. That’s a cool idea. I nearly built something similar on top of Alexa ranks to look for new online startups while at Polaris.
  • The goal is to be a “reasonably significant player in the venture space” and syndicate with the top venture firms.
  • They are stage-agnostic. Rich likes to do seed/Series A investments.
  • Will bring on-board a couple of new partners over time.

About Simeon Simeonov

I'm an entrepreneur, hacker, angel investor and reformed VC. I am currently Founder & CTO of Swoop, a search advertising platform. Through FastIgnite I invest in and work with a few great startups to get more done with less. Learn more, follow @simeons on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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