KPCB Doubles Down on iFund: $200 Million for iPhone and iPad Apps
Add Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to the list of companies funding iPad app development. At an event this morning, the storied venture capital firm said it is doubling the $100 million fund it established to provide seed capital for iPhone apps to fuel development of apps for Apple’s (AAPL) new device.
“This Saturday the iPad arrives and we believe it’s going to rule the world,” said KPCB partner John Doerr. “I’ve touched it, I’ve carressed it and I hope to sleep with it this Saturday night. It feels gorgeous. It isn’t a big iPhone, but it is a big deal. It’s the future….We’re heading into a brave new world. From our old interfaces to touch. From WYSIWYG–what you see is what you get–to WYTIWIS ‘what you touch is what is.’”
A number of apps built by iFund companies will be available when the iPad launches this Saturday, among them seven games from ngmoco, as well as Doodle Buddy and Star Smash from Pinger, textPlus from GOGII and Shazam from Shazam Entertainment. Not announced today but headed to market soon: iPad apps from Zynga, Shopkick and Cooliris.
KPCB’s Bing Gordon closed the presentation segment of today’s event by reading a poem. Sadly, I missed most of it because of connection issues, but it began with this salute to the iPhone: “Welcome to the world; My new friend and pocket master.”
Below, a few screenshots from the WebEx presentation, and the official announcement:
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Doubles iFund to $200 Million
iFund Companies to Deliver More Than a Dozen New iPad Applications by May
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 31, 2010 – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) today announced the doubling of its iFund to $200 million of venture capital for applications for Apple’s revolutionary iPhone OS family of products, including iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Established in 2008 as a $100 million investment pool, the original iFund is now fully committed across 14 companies. iFund companies have been supported by an additional $330 million from follow-on investors.
KPCB also announced iFund-supported companies have more than 20 applications in development for the soon-to-be-released iPad, with 11 available at first ship on April 3. KPCB noted the iPhone has created an inflection in mobile content consumption and the iPad will lead the next wave of innovation in mobile computing. The iFund is increasing its investment dollars to back entrepreneurs and build companies that focus on these areas. Particular areas of interest on iPad include entertainment, communication, social networking, commerce, health care, and education.
“Welcome to the brave new post-PC era where a swoosh of fluidity replaces the traditional mouse-bound GUI. A new, truly revolutionary platform is rare, and a prize for entrepreneurs,” said John Doerr, KPCB Partner. “We expect all ventures to have an iPad strategy. We will fund many more ventures for iPad, and the iFund will accelerate their success.”
“Kleiner Perkins has done a terrific job at finding, funding and supporting great iPhone app developers,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are thrilled that they are doubling the size of their fund, along with expanding it to now include iPad developers too.”
Matt Murphy, Partner at KPCB and leader of the iFund, reported that KPCB’s iFund ventures have achieved significant success, including:
More than $100 million of 2010 mobile revenue
More than 100 million aggregate mobile downloads
An amazing 18 titles reached the Top 10 on the App Store
“We’re ecstatic to be doubling down on the iFund after two short years,” said Murphy. “The success of the App Store and its impact on consumers has been 10 times faster and bigger than we expected. Kleiner Perkins and iFund companies have enjoyed an incredibly helpful and unwavering partner in Apple.”
Recent milestones for iFund companies include:
GOGII’s 5.5 million users have sent 2 billion messages through textPlus
ngmoco’s titles are installed on over one-third of iPhone OS devices and played 20 million minutes each day
Pinger launched 10 apps into the App Store Top 100 in a single month
Shazam’s 50 million worldwide users are tagging over 2 million songs per day
Booyah’s MyTown has over 1.6 million users doing 4 million location check-ins per day
The 11 applications available this week from iFund companies include seven games from ngmoco including We Rule, GodFinger and WarpGate, as well as Doodle Buddy and Star Smash from Pinger, textPlus from GOGII, and Shazam from Shazam Entertainment.