For Google Ventures, 2014 yielded 16 exits and a strong focus on life sciences and health tech

2014 has been a huge year for many in the tech industry, including Google Ventures. During the past year, the firm has seen record numbers of investments, exits, and other actions. Life sciences was the the biggest investment category this year, making up 36 percent of investments.
Google Ventures president and managing partner Bill Maris has a soft spot for life sciences and health technology, having studied and done research in neurobiology earlier in his career. “I’ve always had a keen interest in the life sciences and I feel like there’s a real opportunity” in it now, Maris said in an interview with VentureBeat.
“In 2000, even if you had a billion dollars, you couldn’t sequence a single genome,” he said. But today, technology has advanced enough that life sciences research has become a form of information technology, yielding vast amounts of data that can be used to help us better understand our bodies.
Among the year’s standout investments, Maris is particularly excited about Flatiron Health and One Medical. Flatiron Health, in which Google Ventures invested one of its biggest sums at $130 million, gathers and analyzes huge amounts of oncology data to help doctors better treat cancer patients.
“One in five patients in the U.S. are part of the Flatiron network and they don’t even know it,” Maris said.