Ina Fried

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Google’s Venture Arm Wants Its Hand in More Mobile Deals

Venture capitalist Rich Miner knows a thing or two about the mobile market.

Though he focuses on making investments for Google Ventures these days, Miner’s prior role was working with Andy Rubin to create a little start-up called Android.

In his early days, Miner consciously tried to focus on areas outside mobile, though he thinks that Google Ventures, along with its corporate parent, has some expertise to add in that field, as well.

“We really should see every mobile investment out there,” Miner told AllThingsD in an interview on Wednesday, following a talk at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco.

Despite his Android chops, Miner said that Google is open to companies that are doing work for any number of mobile platforms.

Google Ventures already has a number of mobile investments, including SCVNGR, Crittercism and Astrid.

Big Data is another area of keen interest to Miner, and an area where he feels Google can bring some expertise.

“We know some of the challenges,” Miner said. “We know some of the pain points.”

Miner and his Google Ventures colleagues are hosting an annual event on Thursday, bringing together CEOs and other executives from its more than 100 portfolio companies. And, he says, he and his colleagues are happy to roll up their sleeves, adding expertise in areas such as product design, testing and communications.

“I think anybody who is investing should want to be more than just a check,” Miner said.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik