Dan Burka and Kevin Rose reuniting at Google Ventures

Steven Loeb · December 17, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2c6c

Burka and Kevin Rose also collaborated at Digg, Milk and Pownce

Daniel Burka is reuniting with his old buddy Kevin Rose, who have worked together on three projects in the past, now that he is joining the team at Google Ventures.

The news was announced on Burka’s Twitter account Monday, where is expressed his excitement to work with Kevin Rose again.

Rose followed shortly after, also tweeting out the news.

Burka and Rose previously worked together at Digg, Milk and Pownce.

Burka was the creative director at Digg, the company co-founded by Rose, from 2005 to 2009. In that time the two co-founded social media tool Pownce together in 2007, before it was acquired by blogging company Six Apart in 2008. Burka and Rose worked together a third time in 2011, when they co-founded mobile development lab Milk, along with Jeff Hodsdon.

Google purchased Milk in March, and Rose, Burka and Hodsdon took positions within Google. Rose moved over to Google Ventures in May.

Burka has been given a profile on the Google Ventures website, where he is listed as “design partner.” According to his Google Ventures bio, after joining Google, Burka led mobile user experience for Google+ before becoming a partner as Google Ventures.

Founded in 2009, Google Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of Google, which makes financially driven investments in technology companies. It typically funds around 40 to 50 seed-stage deals every year. It invests $250,000 or less in a company, but it has invested to $10 million in around 15 companies. Google Ventures aims to complete one or two deals in the $20 to $50 million range every year.

Some of Google Venture’s investments so far include coupon and deal marketplace WhaleShark Media; online coupon site RetailMeNot; interactive entertainment company Kabam, where it participated in an $85 million round in May 2011; a $10 million round in ridesharing company SideCar; vacation rental home listings website HomeAway; cancer diagnostics company Foundation Medicine; smart-thermostat company Nest; carsharing service RelayRides; and smart-grid company Silver Spring Networks.

It was reported in November that Google would be increasing the amount of money it allocated to Google Ventures.

While Google was previous putting $200 million into venture capital funds, it will be increasing that number to $300 million.

A large part of the reason for this is that the initial investments that Google Ventures have made in the past few years have now entered later stages, and may required larger amounts of money to continue to grow.

By being able to invest larger amounts of money, it will put Google Ventures into the same league as other, more established funds, along with allowing Google Ventures to attract higher-profile deals, as it has not yet invested in any companies that have made it really big.

Google Ventures could not be reached for comment.

(Image source: https://www.flickr.com)

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Kabam

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Description

Kabam is an interactive entertainment company leading the next wave in social gaming, developing and publishing massively multiplayer social games (MMSG’s), including the popular and critically praised title Kingdoms of Camelot and Dragons of Atlantis. Our studios focus on combining the best elements of traditional and social gaming to appeal to a growing audience of players looking for deeper, more engaging social games. The first wave of Kabam’s new games for Facebook and leading media sites have been widely recognized for their depth of play and social interaction.

Kabam started out as Watercooler, whose aim was to make connecting with your friends, family, and other fans of your favorite TV shows or Sports teams more compelling than ever before. By bringing fan communities into the context of your social network, Watercooler enables more engaging sports and TV fan experiences. Fans are able to access Watercooler's FanSection and TVLoop communities no matter where they are on the web: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, MyYahoo, and TVLoop.com.  Over 35 million sports and TV fans have joined Watercooler's fan applications  making it the largest online fan community.

Company History
Kabam was founded by a team of social networking and community software professionals in Mountain View, CA, in 2006. The company has raised a Series A round of financing from Canaan Partners of Menlo Park, CA.

Digg

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Digg is a user driven social content website. Everything on Digg is user-submitted. After you submit content, other people read your submission and “Digg” what they like best. If your story receives enough Diggs, it’s promoted to the front page for other visitors to see.

Digg has been a force ever since. Acquisition offers have been made, Rose was on the cover of BusinessWeek and according to Alexa, Digg is in the top 100 most trafficked sites on the internet. The success hasn’t come without its share of problems though. The site has had to face services aimed at gaming the way stories hit the front page, as well as a user revolt. Digg has however been able to get over these hurdles as it continues to be one of the social news leaders.

Turo

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

RelayRides is the world's first peer-to-peer carsharing service. Our revolutionary service provides the technology, infrastructure and marketplace for car owners to securely and conveniently rent out their vehicles when they are not using them personally. This provides people seeking convenient transportation with a new option, and makes it easier for urban dwellers to enjoy mobility without owning a car.  

 

As the average US car is driven only 66 minutes a day, RelayRides represents the first opportunity for car owners to monetize this underused asset. By providing the infrastructure, technology and marketplace for car owners to rent out their vehicles, RelayRides gives current car owners the means to monetize a largely underused asset. By enrolling in RelayRides, owners turn a car from an expense into a cash machine, with average profit of approximately $3,550 annually (net of depreciation costs).

 

How RelayRides Works: 

Car owners list their vehicle on the RelayRides website, designate availability, rental price, and who may rent the vehicle (via Facebook and other social networks).  Car renters browse available vehicles on RelayRides.com, reserve a car by the hour or day, and swipe an issued card over a card reader sensor on the vehicle for access during rental. 

To streamline the rental experience, gas and insurance are included.

Silver Spring Networks

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Unlike the proprietary, single application products offered by most vendors, Silver Spring Networks' solution is an IP-based network built on open standards. This approach provides the greatest operational and economic value by supporting a broad range of utility applications that reach the entire delivery system. The result: the utility is in control of implementing the business changes necessary to improve efficiency, reliability and customer service while reducing costs.