Google Inc , has restructured to become Alphabet and Google Search is now a segment under the new parent firm. Google’s change to Alphabet has been touted as a smart move to court Wall Street as the firm puts an end to a habit of burning cash on stupid projects. The first hacking-away of non-core projects hits the news as Google announced the spin-off of its Niantic Labs (Ingress).
Niantic Labs is a startup within Google that launched Ingree, an augmented reality game. You might not have heard about Ingress if you are not a fan of gaming or augmented reality; however, millions of people are playing an alternate reality game that most people can’t see. As at May, the game has had 11 million downloads in its two-year history and it has more than a million daily active players.
Google starts spin-off for a leaner structure
The spinning off Niantic Labs is a small but significant move that shows that Google is ready to adopt a leaner structure instead of becoming a jumbo-sized firm with different interests. Spinning off Niantic Labs will have the startup stand on its feet instead of leaning on Google for support. Ingress and Field Trip (both created by Niantic Labs) are free to download and there isn’t a defined business model to monetize them.
A statement released by Google to TechCrunch sheds more light on why Niantic Labs is being spun off. The spokesperson said Niantic Labs might be better off testing its wings to see if it can survive with less support from Google. Part of the statement reads, “They’re now ready to accelerate their growth by becoming an independent company, which will help them align more closely with investors and partners in the entertainment space.”
Dancing to Wall Street’s tune, will more Spin-Offs follow?
Now, Google has delivered its first spin-off in a move that will make it leaner and it seems that more spin-offs are on the way. Google recently hired a Wall Street expert in person of Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat and it seems that she is helping the firm make the right moves.
Fortune notes “Google, which has a long history of snubbing Wall Street, is finally planning on being more agreeable to its investors and their desires.”
There’s no doubt that Google’s change to Alphabet is in line with Wall Street’s desire to see a stricter approach to costs at the firm. Google’s decision to restructure in a way that would separate core (revenue-generating) products from moonlight has received a positive response. For one, investors that Google was worth some $20B more in market cap after the news – perhaps it is time to expect more spin-offs, and perhaps it is time to expect the shares of Google to start a northbound ascent.