Google’s cloud business lost more than $5.5 billion last year, but it’s growing fast

Google’s cloud business lost more than $5.5 billion last year, but it’s growing fast


Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google parent company Alphabet weathered the tail end of 2020 to post better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of the year. But the bigger story is that Alphabet broke out Google Cloud’s sales for the first time ever, revealing an eye-popping $5.6 billion annual loss last year, but a nearly 50 percent jump in revenue (to $13 billion) compared to 2019. And Google Cloud maintained that growth well into the fourth quarter, when the division generated $3.8 billion in sales. That’s a 46 percent jump from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Those numbers are notable for a few reasons: Google Cloud lags behind the competition, in particular Microsoft’s Azure platform and Amazon’s dominant Amazon Web Services, the CEO of which was just…

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