- Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that two research projects, Loon and Wing, would become 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 is likely to mean little for 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 the secretive X research facility, are becoming standalone businesses within Alphabet, Google’s parent company announced Wednesday.
Loon 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 people via drones.
Alphabet said the companies’ financial performance would be included in Alphabet’s earnings statement under the “Other Bets” category.
Neither company has shown any sign of adding significant revenue to Alphabet’s bottom line anytime soon, but that’s not the point. Google’s management created X to nurture big ideas with an eye toward changing the world. Whether Loon or Wing can help in that endeavor remains to be seen.
But X has seen some success. One of its other graduates, Waymo, is an autonomous-car business that analysts believe could change the world while enabling Alphabet to pocket enormous profits.
The RBC Capital analyst 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 expected that investors could soon bid up Alphabet shares. He also estimated that Waymo could see operating profits of much as $35 billion by 2030.