Demonstrating its love for startups (and need for requited love from startups), Google is offering early-stage startups $100,000 in Cloud Platform credit for one year. This is a fairly clever customer acquisition strategy because chances are startups will continue using Google’s suite of products, but will have to start paying their bills after 12 months.
The Google Cloud Platform for Startups initiative was announced last Friday at the Google for Entrepreneurs Global Partner Summit, by Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow. The initiative is intended to help startups “quickly launch and scale their idea”.
“[W]e want developers to focus on code; not worry about managing infrastructure,” writes Google’s Director of Developer Relations, Julie Pearl, on the company’s blog.
In addition to the $100,000 worth of Cloud Platform credits, startups will also be able to schedule office hours for one-on-one technical architecture reviews, and have access to 24/7 phone support.
To be eligible for this offer, startups must be less than five years old, have raised less than $5 million in funding, and generate less than $500,000 in annual revenue. They must also be part of one of 50 accelerator programmes, incubators and VC funds around the world that Google has already partnered with – such as Y Combinator, 500 Startups, SV Angel, Techstars and of course Google Ventures.
The company plans to grow its partner-base, and is interested in hearing from other accelerators, incubators and VCs around the world who want to join the programme.
On Google’s blog, Pearl doesn’t shy away from boasting the success of companies like Snapchat and Khan Academy that have built applications on Google Cloud Platform.
“It has been amazing to watch Snapchat send over 700 million photos and videos a day and Khan Academy teach millions of students. We look forward to helping the next generation of startups launch great products,” Pearl writes.
Google Cloud Platform for Startups isn’t a first-of-its-kind initiative. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been offering its ‘Portfolio Package’ to accelerators, incubators and VC funds since late-2013, through its programme AWS Activate. In this programme, Amazon offers startups up to $15,000 in AWS credit, which is admittedly small compared to Google’s offering. Then again, it’s unlikely that startups will be using $100,000 ($8,300+/month) worth of infrastructure – not that it would be a bad idea to take advantage of the offer.
More information on Google Cloud Platform for Startups is available via cloud.google.com/startups.