Specifically, it seems that the Silicon Valley-based venture firm is doubling the size of its iFund to $200 million. It also will expand its focus from iPhones to also include iPads. Not really worthy of a press conference, is it? On the other hand, the double-secret meeting strategy has gotten the technorati to cover the news, so it works from a pure PR level.
Kleiner partner Matt Murphy signaled that such a move could be coming, in a VCJ story from April 2008: “There’s no hard cap on this,” says Matt Murphy, a KP partner and lead investor for the iFund. “If we see opportunities beyond the $100 million, we’ll increase the allocation.”
Worth noting that the original iFund was a carveout of an existing KP fund, rather than money specifically raised for Apple-related purposes. Our assumption is the same is true here, which makes us wonder what sector is getting deemphasized. Could it be cleantech?
Here is the press release:
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.
The iFund™ is managed by KPCB Partner Matt Murphy in collaboration with partners Chi-Hua Chien, John Doerr, Bing Gordon, Bill Joy, Randy Komisar, Aileen Lee, Ellen Pao and Ted Schlein. Apple will provide KPCB with market insight and support.