One of the biggest ways that Google makes its money outside of its main search product is through investments. Their recently renamed investment arm, now known as CapitalG, recently revamped their home page to match their new name. The page features a number of different pages with all sorts of information about Google’s investing operations, readable by any who wish to peruse it. One part of the new page is the logos of a few of the companies that they’ve invested in, without much other information in most cases. In the past, Google hid their investments quite well, with the public only finding out when either Google or the recipient decides to share the news. One of the logos on that page of companies, interestingly, is that of Snapchat, who also went through a recent name change to Snap Inc.
Back in September, Snap Inc. managed to raise their value to about $20 billion, fresh off of a round of funding that brought them around $1.8 billion in total. CapitalG has not said whether they put in part of that prize pot, and Snap Inc. is quiet on the matter as well. Still, it’s quite likely that the search giant had a hand in the new-style social media entity’s most recent growth spurt, since the two companies have a pretty decent relationship and the Snapchat logo now has prominent placement on the portfolio page for CapitalG.
Snapchat is one of Google Cloud Platform’s best customers, and rumors swirl that Google tried to buy Snapchat up once. On top of all that, Snapchat is quickly becoming a prominent platform for AI-based chat bots, while Google recently purchased API.AI, who recently announced changes that allow just about anybody to create and spread a bot, with Snapchat as one of the supported platforms. Naturally, these bots will be able to harness the growing power of Google Assistant. While the bot angle could only be a small part of the reason for Google sending a bit of scratch Snap Inc.’s way, the possibility of Google Assistant integration with Snapchat in the very near future is certainly there, as well as more traditional reasons for the investment; after all, it’s not too far fetched to think that Google simply has a ton of faith in Snapchat, or wants to keep them from turning into a rival like Facebook did.