Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) today announced the launch of the iFund with $100 million in venture capital to invest in companies developing applications and services for Apple's innovative iPhone and iPod touch. The iFund, managed by KPCB, will be invested in companies with market-changing ideas and products that extend the revolutionary new iPhone and iPod touch platform. Apple will provide KPCB with market insight and support.
"A revolutionary new platform is a rare and prized opportunity for entrepreneurs, and that's exactly what Apple has created with iPhone and iPod touch," said John Doerr, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "We think several significant new companies will emerge as this new platform evolves, and the iFund will empower them to realize their full potential."
"Developers are already bursting with ideas for the iPhone and iPod touch, and now they have the chance to turn those ideas into great companies with the help of world-class venture capitalists," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We can't wait to start working with Kleiner Perkins and the companies they fund through this new initiative."
The iFund will be led by KPCB partner Matt Murphy in collaboration with partners John Doerr, Bill Joy, Randy Komisar, Ted Schlein, Chi-Hua Chien and Ellen Pao. The initiative will be agnostic to stage and size of investment with a focus on areas including location based services, social networking, mCommerce, communication, and entertainment. The iFund will seek to fund entrepreneurs pursuing transformative ideas with the potential to become standalone, public companies. In addition to providing capital, KPCB will assist with company-building expertise, business development relationships and access to its vast network of talented entrepreneurs.
Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. KPCB has been an active investor in mobile ventures with over 20 portfolio companies in the sector. Current portfolio companies including Pelago, Dash, GOGII, and Pinger will collaborate closely with the iFund initiative.
Kleiner Perkins is a venture capital firm. The fund is to help set up companies or fund development projects that will make long term goals of becoming leaders in their fields. They did the famous Java Fun working with Netscape back in the 90s. It helped created many software companies and projects that developed solutions for the web in infrastructure and content development. Apple might be the only one who can decide on the SDK's price.
Actually, you can download the SDK for free, but you don't get the developer program perks. I have no idea if folks who download it for free will be able to sell the apps on iTunes. Here's the link: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/ .
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview