After first announcing its new equity fund for growth-stage companies, Google is officially launching its “Google Capital” today with an announcement on its blog. Google says the fund will “focus on emerging, long-term technology trends” and the companies it’s invested in so far range from companies in the education space to personal loans and a survey platform. Google took some time to explain how Google Capital will differ from its Google Ventures investment arm:

Like our colleagues at Google Ventures, our goal is to invest in the most promising companies of tomorrow, with one important difference. While Google Ventures focuses mainly on early-stage investments, we’ll be looking to invest in companies solely as they hit their growth phase. That means finding companies that have already built a solid foundation and are really ready to expand their business in big ways. We’ll look across a range of industries for companies with new technologies and proven track records in their fields.

Google notes that the fund has already invested in a few companies including SurveyMonkey and Lending Club, as well as Renaissance Learning, which Bloomberg reports Google is putting around $40 million into.  expand full story