One of the news items I missed while I was away was the launch of Google’s VC business. Not sure if anyone made the connection, but Google has already been in the VC biz, though in what might be called “very late stage”: They invested $1 billion in AOL back in 2005, mainly to protect the distribution that AOL provided Google (and keep it from going to Microsoft or Yahoo).
At the time, I suggested that Time Warner spin AOL out and let it go public on its own. Since then, Time Warner has managed to, well, pretty much bleed AOL out.
Yesterday, however, Google acknowledged that the investment, on its own merits, was not quite working out.