Alphabet alumnus Gideon Yu is reportedly raising $500m to back companies spun out of incubator X Development like 280 Earth, Waymo and Google Glass.

Gideon Yu

Image of Gideon Yu courtesy of Society for Science.

Gideon Yu (pictured) is raising about $500m for a fund linked to internet conglomerate Alphabet’s incubation lab, X Development, people privy to the matter told Bloomberg last week.

Alphabet itself is not raising a fund, according to one of the sources. Previously, Yu was chief financial officer of YouTube, the video-sharing service operated by Alphabet, and Facebook, the social media subsidiary of parent company Meta.

The new fund, dubbed internally as Scale, will be independent but closely affiliated with X, not to be confused with the microblogging service formerly known as Twitter.

X was launched in 2010 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Alphabet’s predecessor and now subsidiary, Google. The lab focused on launching “moonshot” technologies like self-driving cars under the Waymo brand.

However, X has had to cut down on budget as Alphabet shifted its focus to artificial intelligence. The lab spun out Waymo and augmented reality tool developer Google Glass earlier this year as part of a reorganisation effort. The Scale fund will support these offshoots.

Another notable X spinout is 280 Earth, which captures carbon through machines powered by industrial waste heat. The company is backed by Brin and Yu.

If the fund launches successfully, it will be the fourth initiative affiliated with Alphabet, following in the footsteps of GV (formerly Google Ventures), CapitalG and Gradient Ventures.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.