By Michael J. de la Merced | Jun 29, 2016 | This article originally appeared in The New York Times

Sheila Lirio Marcelo is founder and C.E.O. of, which helps people find health care, child care and other services. Credit Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — In its three years of existence, Google Capital has been known for its investments in privately held start-ups like SurveyMonkey and Credit Karma.

Now it is expanding into investing in publicly traded companies — starting with, a specialist in helping connect families and caregivers of all stripes.

Google Capital said on Wednesday that it had invested $46.35 million in the $278 million company, making it the single biggest shareholder.

The transaction represents a new step for Google Capital, one of the investment arms of the technology conglomerate Alphabet. Unlike Alphabet’s GV, which is better known for investing in early-stage companies, Google Capital tends to invest in older “growth stage” businesses that are looking to expand.

But Google Capital has not previously invested in publicly traded companies. Now it is following in the footsteps of investment firms like Silver Lake that have bought preferred shares in publicly traded companies. was founded in 2007 and went public in early 2014. The company offers customers a range of services that include babysitting, senior care, housekeeping and pet sitting, as well as options to manage taxes for nannies through its HomePay service.

To’s founder and chief executive, Sheila Lirio Marcelo, bringing in Google Capital provides money to help the business expand — and gain access to what she said were the resources on tap at Google and its parent, Alphabet.

“It’s a huge opportunity for,” she said in a telephone interview. “Through Google Capital, we can get access to Google and Alphabet’s experts.” first became known to Google when the technology company signed up as a customer five years ago. That eventually prompted Laela Sturdy, a partner at Google Capital who was looking to use’s services, to inquire into investing in the company.

“ exemplifies the kind of company that we want to invest in,” Ms. Sturdy said in an interview. “We’ve been focused on growth-stage companies, and really our only criteria is their having Google-sized aspirations.”

Under the terms of the deal, Google Capital will buy convertible preferred stock in at a conversion price of $10.50 a share, or 24 percent above Wednesday’s closing price for its common stock. The preferred shares pay an annual interest rate of 5.5 percent.

Also, Ms. Sturdy will receive a seat on the board.

Connected to Wednesday’s deal, said that it would buy back 3.7 million shares owned by an early backer, Matrix Partners. Ms. Marcelo said the move limited the dilution of the Google Capital transaction to roughly 2 percent.

Morgan Stanley and the law firm Latham & Watkins advised

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