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VC firm Kleiner Perkins launches social-app fund

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by hah002103, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. hah002103

    hah002103 New Member Webmaster

    Facebook, Amazon, and Silicon Valley bank Allen & Co. are among the high-profile investors

    in sFund, a $250 million social-application fund launched by venture capital stalwarts

    Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers Global Agenda power levelingtoday. Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr spearheaded the

    announcement, which was held at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
    "We're in a third wave of incredible and disruptive innovation," Doerr said of the current

    climate of digital development, which he sees following in the footsteps of the initial

    rise of PCs and then the Internet and browser revolution in the 1990s. These new

    entrepreneurs are "reimagining and really reinventing the social Web," he said.

    Bing Gordon, a former Electronic Arts executive and current partner at Kleiner Perkins,

    will run the new fund. Companies and firms who have committed to back the fund and serve as

    strategic partners include Facebook, Amazon, social-games powerhouse Zynga, Silicon Valley

    bank Allen & Co, Comcast, and Liberty Media. Gordon said that more partners have been in

    discussions and will be added in accordance with finance laws.

    According to sFund's Web site, the fund will take on a mentorship role for its portfolio

    companies as well, providing "financing, counsel, and relationship capital" to


    The initial sFund investment, CafeBots, a "friend relationship management" start-up founded

    by four Stanford Ph.D.s, was announced in conjunction with the debut of sFund.

    "Our view for the next few years is we just think that every industry is going to get

    fundamentally rethought and designed around people," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at

    the announcement.

    In the past, Facebook itself has operated a Global Agenda Goldseed fund and incubator program, FBfund, for

    application developers building on its platform. While tapping into the Facebook grid will

    invariably be central to many of the companies in which sFund invests, it's not a


    Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said that he believes a fund for social-application development is

    necessary because entrepreneurship and innovation are, for once, actually lagging behind

    the possibilities that technology offers. "I'm just bugged that there isn't a great travel

    service. Why can't I have an app," posited Pincus, "that knows I'm at the airport, that

    knows my flight is canceled, it knows I'm traveling with somebody, and it's already

    recommended the next option and it'd be sure nice if it could recommend a game I could play

    in the meantime."

    Doerr said that Zynga, a Kleiner Perkins portfolio company which operates popular social

    games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars that have proliferated across the social connections

    facilitated by the Facebook platform, is the fastest growing company in the history of the

    venture fund.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was on hand as well, talking primarily about the company's Amazon Web

    Services (AWS) cloud-service offering and how he hopes that it will help more entrepreneurs

    launch innovative new ways to harness the power of the social Web. "These social apps do

    tend to be very viral," Bezos said. "It's kind of built into the nature of the application,

    and so when they hit they hit fast, they can grow violently, and that really does play to

    the strengths of AWS."

    Calling the social-media revolution "a Cambrian explosion," he indicated that the maturity

    of social-networking pioneers like Facebook,GA credits "this really rich nutrient solution of people

    who are connected already," can now facilitate a whole new wave of innovation.

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