Wall Street Journal claims Google is planning to help seed start-ups by starting a venture-capital arm:
The group will be led by David Drummond, Google's senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, according to two of these people. Google has hired William Maris, a 33-year-old former entrepreneur who has worked as an investor, to help set up the venture. How the group will be structured and what sort of investments it is likely to target remain unclear.
Google executives previously have bandied about the idea of launching a venture-capital unit, and the plans could still fall through. Mr. Maris couldn't be reached for comment.
The move would make Google the latest technology giant to take on a more-formal role in seeding start-ups. Intel Corp. has had a large venture-capital arm for years, as have Motorola Inc., Comcast Corp. and many others. In the consumer-Internet area, Walt Disney Co.'s Steamboat Ventures has invested in a number of Web start-ups. So has Amazon.com Inc., which has funded a number of young companies without structuring a formal fund.