News | Tech: Alphabet says two of its ambitious side projects are ready for the big leagues (GOOG, GOOGL)

Tech: Alphabet says two of its ambitious side projects are ready for the big leagues (GOOG, GOOGL)

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  • Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, announced on Wednesday that two research projects, Loon and Wing, are becoming independent businesses.
  • Loon, the balloon-flying internet-delivery project and Wing, which is developing a drone-delivery service, are now standalone businesses operating under the Alphabet umbrella.
  • This likely means little to Alphabet's bottom line for the foreseeable future, but the two projects emerged from Google's X facility, which is more focused on changing the world.

Loon and Wing, two research projects developed within Google's secretive X research facility, are becoming standalone businesses within Alphabet, Google's parent company announced Wednesday.

Loon is the project that releases massive balloons into the stratosphere carrying the gear needed to supply people in rural communities with an internet connection. Wing seeks to develop the means to deliver goods to consumers via drone aircraft.

Alphabet said the companies' financial performance will be included in Alphabet's earnings statement under the "Other Bets" category.

Neither one of these companies has shown any sign of adding significant revenue to Alphabet's bottom line any time in the near future, but that's not the point. Google's management created X to nurture big ideas with an eye on changing the world. Whether either of these two new businesses can help in that endeavor remains to be seen.

But X has seen some success. One of its other graduates, Waymo, is the autonomous-car business that analysts believe could change the world while also enabling Alphabet to pocket enormous profits.

Mark Mahaney said in a report on Tuesday that because Waymo is so far out in front of competitors in the burgeoning self-driving car market, he expects investors could soon bid up Alphabet shares. He also estimated that Waymo could see operating profits of as high as $35 billion by the year 2030.

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By Kwame Ntow 11/07/2018 11:33:00