Market Overview

Google Parent Alphabet To Quit Power Generating Kite Company

Google Parent Alphabet To Quit Power Generating Kite Company

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is closing down Makani, a company that generates power with kites, the Financial Times reports.

What Happened

Fort Felker, CEO of Makani, announced Makani’s departure from Alphabet's experimental “X” lab in a Medium post.

Felker explained Alphabet’s decision, “Creating an entirely new kind of wind energy technology means facing business challenges as well as engineering challenges.” He added, “Despite strong technical progress, the road to commercialization is longer and riskier than hoped.” The start-up was acquired in 2013.

Why It Matters

Shutting down the kit energy start-up comes after a mixed earnings report from Alphabet. Forbes reported that losses from Other Bets rose to $4.8 billion in 2019 compared with $3.4 billion a year earlier. 

Makani’s departure from Alphabet is “one of the first big moves” of CEO Sundar Pichai since he took over the helm from Larry Page, according to Forbes.  

Other Bets is Alphabet’s “moonshot” R&D unit. The unit’s projects include Waymo, a self-driving vehicle project, Calico -– a company that fights disease and, Verily-a life science tech and machine learning company. 

Price Action

Alphabet Class A shares traded 0.17% higher at $1,522 in the after-hours session on Tuesday. The shares had closed the regular session, 0.047% higher at $1,519.44.

The Company’s Class C shares traded 0.070% lower at $1,519.67 in the regular session on Tuesday. The shares remained unchanged in the after-hours market.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Makani.


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