Google's parent company for the first time has reported quarterly numbers for its "other bets" companies.
Alphabet has posted its financial results for the Q1 2016, and the big takeaway is that Google's advert business allows Alphabet to continue investing in experimental ventures. In the period that ended on 30 March, Alphabet's "other bets" companies lost $802 million, compared to $633 million from the year-ago quarter, but they also brought in $166 million in revenue.
That revenue is more than double from last year, meaning "other bets" are growing faster than losses, though they still aren't profitable. Alphabet's "other bets" companies is a division that houses moonshots like Google X, Calico, Verily, Google Fiber, Nest, and the self-driving car team. It also includes robot builder Boston Dynamics, though that was recently put up for sale.
We're assuming Alphabet has reported the earnings of these risky projects in order to ease investors concerns. Last quarter, Alphabet revealed its "other bets" companies lost $3.6 billion throughout 2015. Apart from moonshot losses, Alphabet posted revenue of $20.3 billion (up 17 per cent year-over-year) and a net income of $4.2 billion (up 20 per cent year-over-year).
Ruth Porat, Alphabet's chief financial officer, said during an earnings call that mobile search drove growth, and the majority of costs for the "other bets" companies can be attributed to the expense of building out Google Fiber.
As for advertising, it made up the bulk of Google's revenue: $18 billion, up 16 per cent year-over year. The search company also brought in $2 billion from App Store and hardware sales, up 24 per cent from the year-ago quarter.