Google & Yahoo: The New VCs?

Two articles out this week cover how Google and Yahoo are duking it out not
with each other but instead with venture capital firms to gain promising

Googling For Gold
from BusinessWeek starts out what Google might buy when it
goes on a "long-awaited shopping spree." Why everyone always assumes that Google
must go out and buy lots of things fast, I don’t know. Yes, it
raised money
not too long ago and said this might be used for future acquisitions. But they
didn’t say they’d have a "spree," nor has Google ever gone on a shopping spree
in the many years when many have predicted that they "must" do so.

The story points out that Google’s "shown little interest so far in doing big
deals with anyone." Interestingly, Google offers up an official comment —
"we’re not going to manufacture opportunities solely because of the currency."
It then goes on to look at AOL as perhaps shaping up as the key exception to the
Google "no big deals" rule.

The article concludes by talking about what apparently was an abortive
"Startup Day" where Google was going to have venture capital groups pitch them
on making investments. It goes on about all the gripes VCs have and might have
with Google for various reasons, such as grabbing startups fast and directly,
before VCs get much involved.

Google also comes under fire for being "anti-business people" inside and out,
which it denies. Of course, I still haven’t heard of non-engineering types at
Google getting any of the famed Google 20 percent time to work on whatever they

Over from Knight Ridder,

Net giants in search of startups step on VC toes
covers some of the same VC
upset as BusinessWeek details, but this time Yahoo along with Google is also
making waves. In particular, it details how Yahoo made a fast snap-up of Oddpost,
suprising those who had invested in the company.

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