Ex-Google Ventures CEO Maris Set to Raise $100 Million Fund

  • Flip flop comes after pulling plug on bigger fund in December
  • Maris will be sole investor; keep focus on health, biotech

Bill Maris, the former chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc.’s venture investing arm, has changed his mind again; he’s decided to raise a fund after all, according to people familiar with the plans.

The founder of Google Ventures was on the verge of closing a $230 million health-care-oriented fund in December, after leaving the group last year, but abruptly pulled the plug. Now, he’s decided to proceed with a smaller fund of $100 million. He’ll be the sole investor and keep the same focus on biotech and health-care startups, according to one of the people.

The fund’s name Section 32 -- a nod to Star Trek’s Section 31 security forces -- will stay the same, and it will still be based in San Diego, where Maris lives. It’s expected to close later this month or early next, the person said.

Maris resurrected Section 32 when he found investors who supported him running it from San Diego and without other investing partners, the person said.

The reversal comes a few months after Maris criticized venture capital as "almost overfunded" during a December Bloomberg TV interview explaining why he scrapped plans.

"I don’t know that the world needs another venture fund right now," Maris said at the time. "After 10 years in the business or close to it, there might be other ways to have an impact on problems I think are worth tackling."

Since December, Maris looked at options including becoming CEO of a startup, according to one person familiar with his plans.

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