Trendspotting: Google Ventures Opens Office in SF’s South Park
Google Ventures, the investment firm backed by the search giant, has opened a small office in the hipster nirvana of South Park in San Francisco.
While Google itself has a giant outpost close by in the landmark Hills Bros. building along the city’s Embarcadero, with killer views of the Bay Bridge, this is the first office for the venture firm.
But many Silicon Valley VCs have opened outposts, both big and small, in San Francisco over the past two years. That includes Kleiner Perkins, which is right nearby too, and Benchmark, which has been renovating a huge office on Market Street for most of its partners to work out of. And firms like Index Ventures have located their main offices in San Francisco too — Index’s is also within spitting distance of the Google Ventures location.
Some of Google’s VCs — including Kevin Rose and M.G. Siegler, who headed the effort and will be its main partners there — are currently in the space, according to its head Bill Maris. But, he noted in an email, “we plan to renovate it over the next month or two before it is fully operational.”
Added Maris: “When complete, we may use it for everything from entrepreneur meet ups, social space, work space for the GV team, touch down desks for entrepreneurs to work from or incubate things from. It’s space for all of the GV team, though not really large enough for us all at once.”
He noted that a lot of the Google Ventures team lives in the city, where the startup scene has become more lively over the past several years.
“We’re obviously thrilled to have a space of our own in the city,” said Siegler in an email. “Hopefully our design team can get in there soon to give it a fresh coat of paint.”
He also kindly invited the Re/code team over, since our office is also in the same neighborhood, because we are urban pioneers that way.
“Our aim is to make it cooler than Small Foods for Mike Isaac,” said Siegler, referring to the hopelessly hipster grocery store on 2nd Street near Bryant — which looks like the Google cafeteria, except you have to pay big bucks for the stuff — and our hopelessly hipster staffer who likes to pay big bucks for the precious food there.
(Hey geek-backed money boys, as a matter of fact, we do own the streets.)
Google Ventures also has an office on the company’s Land-of-Oz campus in Mountain View, which is also getting a design once over.
It recently scored a big hit with the sale of the innovative Nest smart devices startup to, well, Google, for $3.2 billion. Google Ventures also recently made a big investment in transportation hottie, Uber.