In a bid to attract more custom in an ultra-competitive market, Google Cloud is making some adjustments to its Google for Startups Cloud Program, which offers technical and logistical support to rapidly growing startups. “Over the past year, we’ve deepened our focus on helping startups scale and thrive in the cloud, including launching new resources and mentorship programs, hosting our first-ever Google Cloud Startup Summit, growing our team of startup experts, and more,” says Ryan Kiskis, Director of Startup Ecosystem at Google Cloud.
The new changes are almost exclusively focused on startups that are just starting out in life, when help can go the furthest. Any startups that Google helps that go on to be successful – a fairly small number, given how startups work – will likely remember which cloud service helped them get there.
The brutal world of cloud
Google Cloud outlined the changes in a blog post, focusing on three key areas.
Firstly, the company is offering financial support to cover the first year of Cloud usage for venture-backed startups up to $100,000. According to Google, this means that most startups will be able to use Cloud for free. In their second year, qualifying startups will get 20% of their usage costs covered up to $100,000.
Secondly, Google Cloud is expanding its Startup Success Team to all qualified early-stage startups, opening them up to a network of peers and other advice and tools.
Thirdly, the company is helping startups focus on building their products by offering its fully managed, serverless Google Run, Firestore, and BigQuery.
While no one is questioning Google’s commitment to startups and the ecosystem, the new offerings have the built-in advantage of making Google Cloud attractive over AWS and Microsoft’s Azure.
The cloud market is a brutal, competitive place and AWS is currently well out in front with an estimated 32% marketshare, ahead of Azure’s 20% and Google Cloud’s 9%.
By giving away services, Google likely hopes that the new uber-successful startup will be using its services already and, as revenue grows, so will Cloud’s take. Infrastructure is notoriously hard to set up and manage, so everyone wins really.