KPCB announced they are doubling the iFund to handle the massive flow of new innovation that will emerge from the iPad launch on Saturday.
Folks this is Silicon Valley in action. Big money making big bets on big markets. I love it. It’s good for all entrepreneurs and anyone creative who gets what is happening. I can here the naysayers now – it’s all hype. Maybe so but it’s real.
The iPad has already changed the game on the industry. Even if sales are below expectations the iPad will be a success. The ecosystem is talking back.
The iPad represents innovation and change. Its’ a lightning rod for startups and it’s not stopping with KPCP. I just posted that Juniper Networks is pushing big their $50 million dollar i-fund (innovation fund) for dynamic network enabled apps. Everyone is talking about iPad this iPad that apps etc.. these software innovations have to run on stable networks hence the Juniper tie-in.
All in all these two venture funds point and prove that Silicon Valley is getting back in full swing.
MG Siegler at Techcrunch took some good notes. He wrote:
iFund portfolio companies at the event included Booyah, Cooliris, GOGII, InMobi, ngmoco, Pinger, Shazam, shopkick, and Zynga. In total, there are 14 ventures in the iFund now, 3 of which are in stealth mode. “They’re kicking ass,” Doerr notes.
In fact, the iFund companies have produced apps that have seen 100 million total downloads, Doerr notes. And those companies are expected to pull in some $100 million in revenues this year. Four of the companies are already profitable, partner Matt Murphy notes. The problem is that with the success, the iFund is out of money — Kleiner Perkins actually raised an additional $330 million to pump into these companies outside of the initial iFund investment. And there’s this new device coming out…
“On the eve of the iPad, the iFund is out of money,” Doerr said. Hence, the doubling of the fund.
There are over 20 applications for the iPad currently in development under the iFund. 11 of those will launch on Saturday with the iPad itself. Doerr seems particularly excited about one of the stealth ones (which he wouldn’t talk about specifically) that rolling out in 5 weeks, that will be iPad-only.
Sound Bites From KPCB Event (via MG Siegler)
Just 15 years ago in 1994 there was no Internet. There was no browser. Steve Jobs had left Apple he was working on Toy Story and NeXT. That year I saw Mosiac, the first web browser. It was magic. The rest of the 90s was a great experience.
A tsumani of cellphones have swept the world – now 3 billion have them.
A few years ago Steve Jobs rocked the world with the iPhone. ”If you can’t invent the future, the next best way is to fund it.”
Think back to March 6, 2008, the iFund was a little risky. There was no iPhone 3G. We now have 14 ventures in the iFund, 3 are stealth. 8 of them are here today.
There are 100 million downloads, and there will be over $100 million in revenues from these companies this year. We’ve raised $330 million raised for them. But on the eve of the iPad, the iFund is out of money. So we’re doubling down the iFund to $200 million.
WIth the iPad, this is going to be big. We have 100,000 developers making over 150,000 apps that have been downloaded 3 billion times. That’s in just 24 months. With the iPad, it’s going to be even bigger.
This is going to start a third Renaissance in software. This will be a new interconnected, interactive world. This future will transform all fields (healthcare, etc). Over the next decade 3 times better batteries in 10 times better powered chips. You’ll have a terabyte of local fast storage soon.
It’s early days for the iPad, there are 75 million iPhone (and iPod touch) devices out there. The iPad will engage users for more time than the iPhone we think. I think living room gaming is going to have some competition from the iPad. Same with desktop gaming.
I think the iPad market will be bigger than apps on the iPhone.
The money from the iFund can be used for development on other platforms too.
Calling the iPad a tablet is kind of like calling the iPhone a cellphone — it’s so much more.
When you’re playing with it, you forget you’re using something. You no longer think about the interactions you’re doing, you just do. You have to touch it to understand. Mobile software is built around, when you got a second, you use it. But the iPad is more of a lean-back experience. It’s clearly not a bigger iPod touch. The device is magic. It will change the way normal human beings feel about computing.
iPad Rules – It’s a Lightning Rod
IPad mainly because the IPad is nothing more than a lightning rod for this new distributed computing model called cloud. Is the future about the Cloud highlighed by the iPad or is it the iPad highlighted by Cloud. It’s the classic chicken and the egg.
As we all drink the cool aid we have to be mindful of what is success. The real success of the iPad is not what it will do in 12 months of sales but instead what it means long term. It’s entire existence will be cloud based.
Sure in the short term the IPad has tons of issues (3rd device, not mulituser, no camera, too big to carry). Why should I buy an iPad when I can just get a Macbook Air, and many more products. This means that the IPad will be a classic early adopter product but will take 2 years to cross over to the mainstream. We can’t confuse short term (12-14 month) IPad success with medium to long term (15-36 month) success.
We will all see on April 3 the iPad. All hail the iPad.
Here is the press release from KPCB
KPCB’s iFund™ is a $200M investment initiative that is funding market-changing ideas and products that build upon the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The iFund™ is agnostic to size and stage of investment and invests in companies building applications, services and components. Focus areas include location based services, social networking, mCommerce (including advertising and payments), communication, health care, education, and entertainment. The iFund™ backs innovators pursuing transformative, high-impact ideas with an eye towards building independent durable companies atop the iPhone OS platform.
“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 iPhone & iPad strategy. We will fund many more ventures for iPhone & 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.”
The iFund has invested in 14 companies to date, including:
Booyah – Creating new forms of entertainment to the masses by bringing together elements of the real world and the digital world.
GOGII – Leading free texting (textPlus), communication, and group social interaction product for mobile.
iControl – Stay connected in real-time to what matters most-family, property, home, and business-from anywhere in the world, anytime, day or night.
ng:moco – The first iPhone-only games publisher with 10+ leading titles and the Plus Network for 3rd party developers.
Pelago (Whrrl) – Mobile social network and discovery app that allows you to find people, places, events, and trends through the eyes of your friends and other people on the Whrrl platform.
Shazam – The world’s leading mobile music discovery and socialization application – enabling consumers to experience and share music with others.
shopkick – focused on the intersection of mobile and the physical retail world. Its goal is to dramatically improve the experience of consumers on that intersection.