Google Opens Wallet, Taps Tech Start-ups

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google Capital, the venture-capital arm of Google (GOOG), announced Wednesday that it is investing $50 million in Auction.com, the latest in Google's investments in promising technology start-ups.

With its huge cash pile, Google is following a similar path of other tech leaders, including Apple (AAPL), Amazon   (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT). Google Capital invests in companies that are in the late stages of growth and that produce a technology that aims to shake up their industries. Here are three examples:

Auction.com

Auction.com allows users to buy and sell commercial and residential real estate through its online auctions. The site gives small investors access to prices and property sales that is usually the domain of real-estate professionals. Many believe Google sees great growth potential in the online marketplace for commercial real estate.

SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey helps companies create online surveys so that businesses can better understand customers and target products and services for them. Google invested $444 million in SurveyMonkey in a round of funding that closed in December 2012.

Renaissance Learning

Google Capital has invested $40 million in this education-technology company. Renaissance develops a test that teachers can use to assess their students. The company then analyzes the test and sends back a report to the teachers to help them develop lesson plans for their students.
 

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At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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