KPCB launches $100 million iFund for Apple iPhone application developers

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & 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, in the press release. “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, in the press release. “We can’t wait to start working with Kleiner Perkins and the companies they fund through this new initiative.”

According to the FAQ on KPCB’s iFund website:
• The iFund is agnostic to stage and size of investment (from seed stage to established products with revenue), but targets companies with long-term standalone potential. Focus areas include location-based services, social networking, mCommerce (including advertising and payments), communication, and entertainment.

• KPCB believes that the iPhone and iPod touch are a fantastic platform for mobile applications and services, combining a world class development environment, great devices and UI, an advanced customer base, and strong global distribution. This confluence of factors will ignite a wave of mobile internet innovation, generating opportunities on par with or greater than the PC internet. We expect the most innovative mobile companies and entrepreneurs will choose to develop their apps for the iPhone and iPod touch platform.

• The iFund will invest anywhere from $100K of seed capital to $15M of expansion capital in mobile application and services companies.

• The iFund will invest in as many great ventures as they find. If they need more than $100 million, they’ll find more money.

The iFund will be led by KPCB partner Matt Murphy in collaboration with partners John Doerr, Bill Joy, Randy Komisar, Ted Schlein and Chi-Hua Chien. 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,, 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.

Learn more about the iFund and apply here.

Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers


  1. Yes, this is clearly huge. Somewhere out there, a gleam in someone’s eye, is a killer app for he iPhone. It may not seems as if the iPhone needs one right now, but the danger is that someone will build it – for someone else’s phone – in the future.

    Therefore, while the platform is white-hot, throw out some money that would keep it that way. Better than a stock-buyback (which some idiot analysts were demanding)? You betcha.

  2. To get Kleiner-Perkins, one of the biggest VC firms on board (and one with considerable clout) is a strong endorsement. Recently, Steve Jobs called the iPhone a “platform” and today, that was well established. Making the iPhone enterprise-friendly will make even the most ardent Windows-centric IT Nazis take note, and the pressure from the c-level executives to let the iPhone become accepted in their purchasing plans will overwhelm their resistance.

    Like it or not also is an endorsement of accepted IT standards such as Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Cisco VPN. We’re all fanboys here, but the reality is that these two solutions are accepted corporate standards. Getting in bed with Microsoft and Cisco will explode the market for the iPhone outward, and we’ll rapidly see it assimilated in corporations.

    There’s another aspect worth watching. Because developers will need to use a Mac and Coco to develop for the iPhone, the trojan horse here is that it could get more developers to either bring applications over or develop new apps for – get ready – the Mac. And quietly, that might break down more barriers towards broader Mac acceptance and adoption.

    Apple has the hardware and the operating system to make this happen. No other handset maker comes even close. They have the distribution means (the iTunes Store) and a huge market that has already embraced all of this. Nobody else can say this. And now they have a strategy in place to change the iPhone from today’s must-have to an industry leading standard. And Apple has partnered with industry leading companies to assure this. It is very solid strategic planning. And that is something we simply have not seen at this level. Most impressive. It took years to lay the groundwork for all of this, and it is about to pay off handsomely.

    For months, I’ve read two-bit pundits and bloggers slamming Apple, and short sellers trying to drive Apple down. But today’s announcements cannot be denied their importance. The iPhone and iPod Touch are here to stay. Their market footprint will expand. And they will change perceptions of die-hard Windows acolytes. It is proof to those who try to second guess Steve Jobs that they simply underestimate him again and again. He is truly one of the great strategic thinkers in business today. And those at Apple who have worked so hard on this moment share in the praise. Kudos!

  3. Business Plan

    • iPhone opened ideas and trashes competition
    • iPhone with Exchange support get in door
    • ActiveSync licence extends to in MacOS X 10.5.3
    • iPhone with larger screen replace laptops
    • MBA become common as better conduit to iPhone
    • Mac apps supported along with Windows apps for exec’s and marketing
    • Macs with BootCamp supported by IT, along with PCs since many IT staff now have Macs at home
    • Macs with BootCamp begin to replace PCs as SOI
    • Permanent mix of Mac/Win, as need arises
    • Macs never fully replace all PCs, but make up to 50% penetration, more in isolated firms

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