Alphabet, the parent company for Google, is now more valuable than Apple. This is thanks in large part to having their hands in so many different things. From Project Ara to crazy robot dogs, Alphabet is working on a lot of side projects. They officially call these things “Other Bets,” while Google remains the “Alpha Bet” (get it?).
Now that Google has separated all of their projects under Alphabet, we can see how much they spend on non-Google stuff. Alphabet spent $3.56 billion on Other Bets in 2015. That is a big increase over the $1.94 billion they spent in 2014. These numbers may sound like a lot (they are), but they are minuscule compared to the profit that Google is raking in. Google claimed a profit of $23.42 billion in 2015. Now you can see why they are willing to lose a few billion on side projects.
So what actually falls under the “Other Bets” projects? Things like Google Fiber, Calico, Nest, Google Life Sciences, Ventures, Google X, and more. These side projects are very important to Alphabet, and will remain a key part of their spending.