Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 15, 2013

Google Ventures Partners with Two Technology VC Firms for Google Glass Ecosystem

While we all eagerly await Google Glass, the virtual reality, sci-fi looking glasses that Google will launch at the end of this year, Google itself is busy building the application eco-system that will support Google Glasses.

The search giant’s venture capital arm, Google Ventures, last week announced a partnership with two of the biggest technology venture capital firms in the world, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. The partnership is being referred to as the “Glass Collective.”

Google Glass, of course, is Google’s highly anticipated, head-mounted wearable computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. The product, which was first introduced as a concept in 2011, will be available for Google I/O developers sometime very soon (and priced around $1,500) and to the general public later this year. Google has set the price for the Glasses will be similar to that of a top-of-the-line smartphone.

The three organizations, Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins, will be sharing seed investment responsibility for entrepreneurs and developers who will be developing Google Glass hardware and applications. The three companies hope that this fund will help kickstart the developer ecosystem for Glass and bring it to mainstream users as soon as possible, according to TechCrunch.

During the announcement, Google Ventures’ Bill Maris was joined by Marc Andreessen from Andreessen Horowitz and John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins. The three discussed their excitement for the immediate potential of Google Glass as a platform, not just a wearable computing product. The Glass API, called “Mirror,” was announced and shown off at this year’s SXSW, according to Tech Crunch.

Entrepreneur notes that some standard rules when pitching investors -- such as proving scale and having existing customers -- won't apply with the Glass Collective. Andreessen Horowitz, for example, has "a seven-to-10-year investment horizon," said Margit Wennmachers, a partner with that firm, which means it will fund Glass-related startups that don't yet have any user base or revenue model.

According to those involved in the collaboration, the Glass Collective’s first investment could be coming soon.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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