updated 09:20 pm EDT, Thu June 23, 2011
KPCB outlines iFund track record
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers at an event Thursday provided a look back at the performance of the iFund slightly more than three years since it was first started. The group considered it a success as it had decided to fund 25 companies that, combined should have 300 million downloads by the end of 2011. Two of the companies, ngmoco and Pelago, had found buyouts, while exercise-oriented Worksmart Labs was getting funding to expand beyond Android and develop iOS apps.
All of the companies combined have already turned a relative profit. With a total $300 million invested in the iFund, the pool is expected to pull $250 million in profit just for 2011.
iFund was launched alongside the original iPhone app developer tools in March 2008 with $100 million to help spur on mobile app development for what was seen as a "revolutionary" platform. The goal was ultimately to start "a few Amazons or Yahoos" by giving them enough cash to develop high-quality apps. Its first two years were promising enough to see another $200 million added to the fund just as the iPad reached the public.
The KPCB initiative has been successful enough to inspire sequels and imitators. Its own sFund targets social networking site apps. RIM almost immediately copied it with the largely unsuccessful BlackBerry Fund. Android only just got its own boost with the A-Fund, though its focus has been narrowed mostly to southeast Asia to foster Google's OS in the area where it's growing the fastest. [via TechCrunch]