This isn’t the first time rumors have swirled about Google launching a venture capital fund, but the speculation is increasing based upon Google’s hiring of William Maris, a former web hosting entrepreneur, to (allegedly) set up the venture capital arm. Another thought is that Google is planning to launch the venture capital fund to coincide with the release of its Android mobile platform–and therefore Google would be targeting the telecom sector.
While Google surely brings the name factor to any business or service it plans to launch, it will be interesting to see if Google can pull it off. Google has been an acquirer of companies in the past, but Google’s biggest obstacle will be whether it can give their portfolio companies the requisite time and attention to develop the startup. There are a lot of private venture firms that already do.