Adam Putz August 11, 2016
Bill Maris founded GV (fka Google Ventures) in 2009. Between fresh memories of the financial crisis and the prevailing doubts of Silicon Valley about corporate venture capital firms—even one flying the Google flag—captaining GV in that moment might have given others pause. CVCs to that point had yet to write many success stories. But Maris kept his approach to corporate venture in line with more conventional VCs by restricting the role of Google’s powerful C-suite in order to compete with big firms like Sequoia.
The formula worked: GV has completed more than 500 investments since its founding, according to the PitchBook Platform. One of the firm's more notable deals under Maris's leadership was a significant investment in Uber at a roughly $3.7 billion valuation back in 2013. More recently, GV exited Jet.com, Walmart’s recent acquisition, earning a 4.29x MOIC from its participation in a 2015 round at a valuation of $525 million, along with a 2.14x multiple on a follow-on round.
In terms of corporate VCs, only Intel Capital has been a more active than GV since the start 2010. Perhaps Maris’s legacy outside GV will be the outsized presence CVCs now command in the startup world—particularly in IT, which represents over 300 of GV’s own deals, with a median investment size of $5.9 million. IT startups have seen by far the largest portion of capital invested by CVCs since the start of 2010, a staggering 46%, more than double the share of healthcare (18%), the second-most-active sector, and third-place B2C (17%). GV’s median investment size for its 41 healthcare deals has been $28 million under Maris and $12.3 million for its 68 B2C investments.
GV has been at the forefront of an industry-wide increase in CVC activity. Since the beginning of 2010, over $125 billion has been invested in rounds involving CVCs, according to the PitchBook Platform. Capital invested in these deals has increased each year since 2012, peaking in 2015 at $40.9 billion.
From an interview Maris conducted with The New York Times, he's clearly satisfied with his time at the helm.
“I looked around at how well GV has done and said mission accomplished,” Maris told NYT. “If you’re a chef and you have the finest ingredients and work in a beautiful kitchen and bake the cake, it’s time to go cook something else.”
David Krane, who spent a decade as Google’s director of global communications and public affairs, will replace Maris as chief executive. Krane led GV’s investments in Uber, which is now valued about $68 billion, and Nest, which Google bought in 2014 for $3.2 billion.