Meet Google Capital, which invested just $40M in Renaissance Learning

Google’s latest investment arm, Google Capital, has stayed relatively quiet for the year that it has been around, but it’s now making big moves. Today, cloud-based edtech company Renaissance Learning announced that it received $40 million dollar investment from the group, showing that it’s already willing to throw significant money around in Silicon Valley.
A blog post by Google Capital’s partner David Lawee introduced the arm as part of the search giant’s plan to write bigger checks to startups. Where its other venture arm, Google Ventures, focuses on seed-stage and early investments for new startups, Google Capital will focus on companies in a “growth phase.”  According to Bloomberg, Google Capital now has $300 million in recently raised investment money.
Renaissance’s $1 billion valuation and 18 million subscriptions fit the mold Google Capital is looking for in a late stage investment. According to Recode, the startup apparently beat out 500 other edtech companies for the investment.
In addition to the $40 million investment in Renaissance, Google Capital has participated in large private equity rounds for polling site SurveyMonkey and loan platform Lending Club — which raised $450 million and $125 million last year, respectively.
Google Capital doubles down in startups for the search giant. And, as Lawee mentions in the blog post, “The most important—and distinctive—feature of Google Capital is how we work with our portfolio companies.” That influence, which the blog assures will spread across many startup industries, will likely give Google even more power as an investor and participator in the booming startup world.