Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Live: Kleiner Perkins’ Doubles Down The iFund To $200 Million For the iPad

Live: Kleiner Perkins’ Doubles Down The iFund To $200 Million For the iPad
by MG Siegler on Mar 31, 2010

I’m here at the Rosewood Sandhill Hotel in Menlo Park, CA where Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is hosting a mysterious press briefing surrounding a “mobile content revolution.” The famous venture capital firm is being tight-lipped about what this event is actually about, but the speculation among those here is that it may involve Apple’s new iPad, which is being launched in the U.S. on Saturday.

Update: Yep, it’s about the iPad. Kleiner Perkins is doubling its iFund to $200 million for more than a dozen iPad applications in May. iFund portfolio companies include Booyah, Cooliris, GOGII, InMobi, ngmoco, Pinger, Shazam, shopkick, and Zynga.

Slated to speak are the Kleiner Perkins’ partners as well as “strategic partner executives.” In March of 2008 as Apple was unveiling its iPhone SDK, Kleiner Perkins also unveiled its iFund, a $100 million fund to spur iPhone app development.

Below, find my live notes (paraphrased):

John Doerr: 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. All those companies came around. Silicon Valley was a Florence of the

“It feels like Deja Vu all over again. Twice in a lifetime.”

A tsumani of cellphones have swept the world – now 3 billion have them. Including people in far reaches of Africa. There are 75 times more cellphones in Kenya than PCs. In 4 years there will be 32 million cell phones there. Everyone is going to have the Internet and a cell phone in their pockets.

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. They’re kicking ass.

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. To quote Bill Campbell, “You’ve gotta have the fucking money.” So we’re doubling down the iFund to $200 million.

This Saturday the iFund arrives, we believe it’s going to rule the world. I’ve held it, caressed it. It feels like you’re touching the future (Doerr stole that from me).

We’re going into a brave new world. From the old world of Windows interfaces to touch. The swoosh of liquidity. The iPad is direct, it’s natural. WYTIWis — what you touch, is what is.

Ron Okamoto, VP developer relations, Apple:

Two year’s ago, John went out on a limb. Now it’s a tree. 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.

You’ve gotta have a cool name to be funded by Kleiner (laughs). We’ve seen what developers are working on so far, it’s fantastic. In a few days, you’ll see it too.

Doerr back on stage

100,000 flowers blooming. The tablet is where all these dreams are going to come true. 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 battires in 10 times better powered chips. You’ll have a terabyte of local fast storage soon.

I’ve always been awed by entrepreneurs. Let’s talk to the guys working in the iFund.

Bing Gordon, Kleiner Perkins

I have no prepared remarks. Twas the night before iPad – nothing was stirring, except the whole family trying to throw away their mouse. I’m going to make a prediction. Many centuries ago the writing body language. 50 years ago, the typewriter body language. Then the iPhone body language. Now the iPad body language.

Greg Woock, CEO Pinger

I’ve been with a lot of companies, nothing has been as successful as with the iPhone. We have paid apps and free apps. Many different business models – in app adds, in app purchases. We’ve done 13 titles, 10 have been in the top 100. Largely because we use our apps to sell other apps. If you’re not in the top 100 apps, it’s hard to be seen. We’re profitable – in a year, really in 9 months!

So the iPad: The strongest thing I can saw is that my daughter immediately knew she wanted one. We’re making Doodle Buddy for the iPad. The most fun you can have with your hand (rather than your finger (with the iPhone).

Keith Lee, Booyah

When we saw the iPhone, we knew we had to leave our jobs at Blizzard. Camera, GPS, this was huge for new experiences. 4 months ago we launched MyTown. It’s the most popular location-based social game. It’s realworld Monopolgy. We’ve been able to hit 1.6 million registered users. 130,000 new users a week. We’ve always been in the top 50 of the charts. People spending 70 million a day (per user) in our game. We have 4 million daily check-ins.


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