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.