Google is wheelin' and dealin' now more than ever. With Google Ventures backing small start-ups, the more recent Google Capital investing in larger companies and long shots like purchasing Motorola, Google has made itself into much more than just an ad company.
Google has gotten in on 127 deals in the last three years. Between 2008 and 2011, the number was less than half that. The company had over $58.7 billion in the last quarter, and they are making moves to use that money. Google Ventures invested in or outright purchased companies like Uber, Astrid, about.me, RetailMeNot, and AngelList, just to name a few. Google is working on making big changes in the world. They are focusing on the medical field with companies like Foundation Medicine and SynapDx. AngelList and OnDeck are allowing Google step into the finance arena. Nest is allowing Google to move into people's homes, and Clever is being used to support online learning in schools. This is much more than just an ad company.
Google has made some big moves, snapping up large companies like Motorola in 2012 and the just-completed Nest deal this year. Motorola was purchased for $12.4 billion, and just sold to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The Motorola set-top box business was sold last year for $2.24 billion. Google is a company that is not afraid to take a few losses in its quest to answer big questions. The Google co-founders are thinking big. "These guys have always been a little idealistic about wanting to use technology to change things on a large-scale," said Patrick Mork, an entrepreneur in residence at Signia Venture Partners. "It's by taking these moonshots."
Google's sales growth took a bit of a dip in 2012 and the company is looking to make up ground elsewhere. Google wants not only the additional revenue from the companies it acquires, but their investments and purchases could lead to new ideas into technology. The focus is on "the next billion users" for not only Android, but for new markets, especially in developing countries. Google is betting big and betting small, all over the place. Something good is bound to come of it.