Wall Street Journal says Google is planning to start a venture-capital arm, possibly led by senior vice president and chief legal officer David Drummond.

Google's official blog made no mention of any venture capital plans. If true, Google would join other technology companies including Intel, Motorola and Comcast that have their own VC funds. Such organisations often, but not exclusively, invest in technologies that are complementary to the investor company's market segment.

The report, which cited unnamed people familiar with the situation, said that the company plans to hire entrepreneur William Maris [cq] to lead the new venture.

A move into venture capital would be a change in strategy for Google, which has preferred acquisitions over investments in the past. Although Google would have to compete with stand-alone venture capital firms for investees, the strength of its brand and the resources it could potentially offer start-ups could prove attractive.