Alphabet's investment arm sweetens deal with Google AI, ML expertise
- Portfolio companies of CapitalG, Alphabet's growth equity investment fund, can leverage a connection with Google to train engineers in a machine learning program. The program includes three elements: a three day, introductory onsite program taught by Google engineers; a week of in-person sessions for advanced practitioners; and mentorships with Google experts through an ongoing partnership with Google's ML community, according to CapitalG's site.
- At a recent session, more than 100 engineers, including workers from Lyft, AirBnb, Stripe and Crowdstrike, joined together to learn about machine learning from more than 20 Google employees, reports CNBC.
- By leveraging Google's AI expertise, CapitalG is trying to gain an edge over other funds competing for investment in promising technology companies and boosting the business of its portfolio companies to drive returns, according to CNBC. The program, free for portfolio companies was organized late last year and two classes have competed boot camps, with more in the works across the Bay Area, East Coast and India.
Google and Alphabet haven't gotten to where they are today by letting promising market entrants remain alone. The technology company and its parent have a history of investing in and acquiring burgeoning disruptors.
In 2017, CapitalG led investments for four companies' funding rounds and participated in four more rounds for other companies, according to Crunchbase. This year, the company has already raised money for four companies, including $1.9 billion for Manbang Group, a Chinese trucking internet logistics company.
With artificial intelligence holding an ever more important place in companies' technology portfolios, tapping Google's expertise (and Alphabet's cash) to stand out in a sea of competitors is an alluring proposition for growing companies.
But Google isn't restricting its dissemination of AI and ML knowledge to the lucky recipients of Alphabet money. In February, the company made public its internal ML crash course, which is offered as part of the three day training for portfolio companies.
Breeding familiarity with TensorFlow software among CapitalG investments and regular developers will benefit the company in the long run by bringing more up and coming AI talent to Google's platform.
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