Update: GV has reached out to inform us that Miner is starting a new project — not company — inside Google.
After founding Android with Andy Rubin, Rich Miner joined and has been at Google’s venture capital arm as a general partner. Now, he is reportedly planning to return to Google proper and launch (via Fortune) an education-focused company. Clearly, the project reflects Google’s increased interest in making products for the education market…
Speaking to Fortune, Miner doesn’t “actually know exactly what we’re building yet,” but previously lamented about the “difficulty in finding quality educational apps and other kid-focused Internet services.” He notes that it took years to get a first device out with Android. Originally conceived as a separate startup, CEO Sundar Pichai found value in keeping Miner’s new project within Google’s walls.
Google has a number of educational versions of its popular products, most recently Google Cast for Education and Cardboard Expeditions for virtual field trips. Additionally, many products like Google Apps are widely used by schools. It seems that Miner’s new company will be developing something different and there’s nothing to indicate yet that Google’s other education products will be consolidated into one unified group — like with what Diane Greene did for enterprise and the cloud.
Miner will be stepping down as a general partner of GV, but will maintain board seats at several companies. Most of the team for the new company will be based in Mountain View, while Miner plans to remain based in Massachusetts.