The top 25: David Krane, CEO and managing partner, GV

David Krane is chief executive and managing partner for GV, US-based technology conglomerate Alphabet’s early-stage corporate venturing subsidiary, and manages the vehicle’s endeavours worldwide.

During his time at the unit, Krane has backed a variety of technology companies such as ride sharing provider Uber, consumer goods stock exchange StockX, smart home device maker Nest and coffee roaster and retailer Blue Bottle Coffee.

Google, before the brand fell under the auspices of the Alphabet umbrella in late 2015, hired Krane in 2000 as director of global communications and public affairs which involved him serving as a senior leadership team member to help the company grow from a startup to a multibillion-dollar global tech giant.

Shortly after its launch, GV appointed Krane a general partner in 2010 before he took up the managing partner and CEO roles in 2014 as Bill Maris, the unit’s former head and co-founder, formally stepped down in August 2016.

Krane retained consistency with the Maris era in the first half a dozen investments made since the transition, the largest deals featuring GV after Maris’s departure were in healthcare, including rounds for cancer-focused biotechnology company Carrick Therapeutics and immuno-oncology startup Arcus Biosciences.

Arcus Biosciences went public on the New York Stock Exchange at $138m in March 2018, enabling Alphabet to exit.

Apart from life sciences, GV also invests in consumer, enterprise and frontier technology developers. Its most recent deals include distributed database technology provider Cockroach Labs, drug developer Rome Therapeutics, expenditure analytics platform developer Digits and Accent Therapeutics, a cancer treatment developer.

GV also spun off a venture capital firm called Plexo Capital in 2017 as part of the unit’s strategy to nurture diversity in VC, especially targeting women and minority founders.

Plexo founding managing partner Lo Toney was previously a partner at GV, and the firm closed its first fund at $42.5m in December 2019 with limited partners including other corporate venturing units such as Intel Capital and Cisco Investments.

Krane said at the time: “One of our aims at GV is to increase access to differentiated deal flow. In 2018, Lo and I worked together to build this strategy into an independent fund. We are proud of everything Lo and his team are building at Plexo Capital, and we are excited to see the impact of this work with a diverse set of investors and entrepreneurs.”

Before joining Google, Krane had spent his time in both startups and public companies having worked for consumer electronics producer Apple, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm, Four11, which is the predecessor of email service provider Yahoo Mail, and two cybersecurity technology developers.

He also sits on the board of media and entertainment conglomerate Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, serves as a member of global CEO community Young President’s Organisation and is a former coach at nonprofit Little League Baseball.

Regarding his background, Krane said: “I grew up in a small university town where everyone around me was driven by curiosity and life-long learning. My father is a nuclear physicist and author, and my mother has several degrees that served her well across many roles in public and community service.

“My parents repeatedly taught me that interesting things happen at the crossroads of science and culture. As an investor, I am particularly excited by consumer-focused entrepreneurs who spot opportunities to meaningfully improve some of the most critical aspects of our daily lives.”

Krane holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and music from Indiana University (IU) Bloomington and currently serves on the dean’s advisory board for the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF