Venture capital firm doubles iPhone OS 'iFund' to $200 million

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
As both consumers and developers await the release of Apple's iPad on Saturday, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced Wednesday that it is doubling its investment pool for software on Apple's App Store to $200 million.



The announcement is centered around the iPad, as more than 20 iFund-supported applications are currently under development for Apple's touchscreen device. The firm said Wednesday it believes the iPad "will lead the next wave of innovation in mobile computing."



Apple helped Kleiner Perkins establish the fund in 2008, which is used to provide early financial support for promising new companies using the iPhone OS software development kit. The venture capital outfit revealed that the original $100 million iFund is now fully committed across 14 companies, and iFund companies have been supported by an additional $330 million from follow-on investors.



"Welcome to the brave new post-PC era where a swoosh of fluidity replaces the traditional mouse-bound GUI, said KPCB Partner John Doerr. "A new, truly revolutionary platform is rare, and a prize for entrepreneurs. We expect all ventures to have an iPad strategy. We will fund many more ventures for iPad, and the iFund will accelerate their success."



The first run of funding reportedly found great success, with iFund ventures achieving more than $100 million of 2010 mobile revenue, more than 100 million aggregate mobile downloads, and 18 total titles reaching top-10 sales on the App Store.



Companies funded by the iFund include GOGII, which has seen 5.5 million users and 2 billion text messages sent in its textPlus application; ngmoco, which has games installed on over one-third of iPhone OS devices; and Shazam, which has attained 50 million worldwide users tagging over 2 million songs per day.



"We?re ecstatic to be doubling down on the iFund after two short years," said Matt Murphy, KPCB partner and leader of the iFund. "The success of the App Store and its impact on consumers has been 10 times faster and bigger than we expected. Kleiner Perkins and iFund companies have enjoyed an incredibly helpful and unwavering partner in Apple."



Earlier this month, an analysis of developers on the App Store found that one in five are startup companies, suggesting that Apple's platform for the iPhone, iPod touch and forthcoming iPad presents a level playing field.



Apple has pitched the launch of the iPad as a "whole new gold rush" for developers, as the device and its 9.7-inch screen will run existing App Store software as well as new applications designed specifically for the hardware and its larger touchscreen. First released in January, the iPhone 3.2 beta software development kit allows developers to create iPad-specific software.



The App Store has proven successful for a variety of companies, from upstart developers such as Tapulous, which earns nearly $1 million per month, to established companies like personal navigation provider TomTom, which recorded more than 100,000 sales of its GPS application for the iPhone. In January, Apple revealed that App Store downloads had topped 3 billion less than 18 months after it first opened.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    ilogicilogic Posts: 298member
    I have software ideas for the iPad - but nothing else
  • Reply 2 of 27
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    It really is cool to watch the creation of an entirely new platform. It happens so rarely. And the speed with which this platform has grown is really staggering.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    asciiascii Posts: 5,838member
    Finance companies with their $100 million this and $100 million that, are currently universally hated aren't they? They wrecked the economy, and then got government bailouts while everyone else suffered.



    Steve Jobs is probably trying to repeat the success of the iPhone by doing everything the same. But post the GFC, associating your product with a finance company (even a venture capital fund) may not be a smart move.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    What's that defunct gambling scheme where one keeps doubling their bet when they lose?



    Toning down the hype just a bit, I just hope the money is being applied in the right areas.





    See what the Woz says about the iPad



    http://www.macworld.co.uk/education/...NewsID=3218942





    Also see these adoption rates for various Apple devices.



    http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_091005.html





    Thinking a little, the iPad is just a larger and more expensive iPod Touch right?



    Not saying sales are going to be bad, I just think it will find it's niche primarily in education/games but not be a world changer.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    asciiascii Posts: 5,838member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    Thinking a little, the iPad is just a larger and more expensive iPod Touch right?



    Yes, but the extra size completely changes the applications.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Finance companies with their $100 million this and $100 million that, are currently universally hated aren't they? They wrecked the economy, and then got government bailouts while everyone else suffered.



    Steve Jobs is probably trying to repeat the success of the iPhone by doing everything the same. But post the GFC, associating your product with a finance company (even a venture capital fund) may not be a smart move.



    All financial service companies are not the same. This type of investment appears to have little in common with complex derivatives that nobody quite understands. The role of this venture capital company in supporting app development is rather straightforward. If you want to be critical then I suppose that you could find some similarity between this type of investment and the tech bubble that burst in the late 90's early 2000's. Back then venture capitalists were throwing money at every entrepreneur who thought he could create a business with door to door delivery of porno movies that were rented on their website, using a dancing gorilla dressed in bondage gear.



    In contrast, The iPhone OS platform is based on a business model that works, and Apple is probably the most successful company of its type over the past decade. So the risk of this strategy to Apple's reputation appears to be negligible. In any case, the number of companies involved is likely to be a small fraction of all developers. It's actually a good way to promote innovation and may deliver valuable apps to the users of iPhone OS devices.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Yes, but the extra size completely changes the applications.





    Right, because the input device (the finger) has more room to input and manipulate things on the iPads bigger screen than on the smaller iPhone or iPod Touch screens.



    However one can't get the incredible detail using their finger like they can using a cursor driven by a input device, at least not without a heck of a lot of annoying zooming in and out.



    Touchscreens have their limitation, the size of one's finger, thus they can't possibly become a major game changing device. Rather a niche device.





    Finger tracking via the iSight camera with a little sticky cup on the end of one's finger would be a effective way to regain the detailed control a cursor point provides.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,416member
    That's nothing. I spent $200M on jet fuel last night.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    Also see these adoption rates for various Apple devices.



    http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_091005.html



    Thinking a little, the iPad is just a larger and more expensive iPod Touch right?



    Not saying sales are going to be bad, I just think it will find it's niche primarily in education/games but not be a world changer.



    Not sure I see the point you are trying to make with that link...



    The iPod in ALL computer owning households (Mac & Windows, etc) is bigger than the ENTIRE MARKETS of:



    - ALL 'Navigation' devices (GPS)

    - ALL 50'+ LCD TVs

    - ALL Flash Camcorders

    - All Digital SLR Cameras



    And the iPod Touch (a lone/single product) is bigger than (found in more homes than) all of the other markets of each respective product type*, except for Navigation and digital SLR cameras. Think about it.. A single product being in more homes than ALL of the makes of any of those other products types mentioned...



    * I'm not maintaining the iPod or iPod Touch is bigger (in more households) than ALL the markets combined togethers... but simply, as the chart indicates more prevalent than many of the total individual markets they mentioned.



    That's quite an impressive statistic... if the numbers are an accurate representation and I'm not making ANY statements about the validity of the report or how the numbers were obtained. I do find it's somewhat odd that the iPhone doesn't get any mention at all...
  • Reply 10 of 27
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Finance companies with their $100 million this and $100 million that, are currently universally hated aren't they? They wrecked the economy, and then got government bailouts while everyone else suffered.





    Difference between a finance company (as in mortgages) and a venture capital company, is that the later only wants their money back if you are successful. Essentially they are partners with the entity receiving the funding.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    Right, because the input device (the finger) has more room to input and manipulate things on the iPads bigger screen than on the smaller iPhone or iPod Touch screens.



    However one can't get the incredible detail using their finger like they can using a cursor driven by a input device, at least not without a heck of a lot of annoying zooming in and out.



    Touchscreens have their limitation, the size of one's finger, thus they can't possibly become a major game changing device. Rather a niche device.





    Finger tracking via the iSight camera with a little sticky cup on the end of one's finger would be a effective way to regain the detailed control a cursor point provides.



    No offense, but I think your perspective here is a little too narrowly focused. There's quite a bit more to the success of a product than the resolution of the input mechanism. The scroll-wheel on the iPod provides a lot less control over the device than a touchscreen, but iPods seem to have done well.



    The advantages of the iPad are (1) form factor, (2) UI, and (3) app support. (and maybe price) These might not sound very exciting, but they are a huge deal when combined. Compare the 8 bit PCs from the 80s to the mainframes sold by IBM at the time, and you would regard them as trivial little toys in terms of what they could accomplish using traditional computing metrics compared to those more traditional computers. So why were those initial crummy little 8 bit computers so successful? (1) form factor, (2) UI, and (3) app support (and price). With an Apple II, you had something that could fit on a desk instead of taking up half a room. You had a color screen! A user interface that didn't require years of training and an advanced degree, and you had 10,000 apps including a bunch of fun games. Now, flash-forward to today, and compare the iPad to a "traditional" personal computer. The iPad is 1.5 pounds and fits in your hand like a book. It has a multi-touch screen! It's far easier to learn than traditional computers. And it has over 100,000 apps.



    To quote Joe Biden, this is a big f****g deal.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Finance companies with their $100 million this and $100 million that, are currently universally hated aren't they? They wrecked the economy, and then got government bailouts while everyone else suffered.



    Well ... okay ... yes it can be said with a certain degree of accuracy that VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDS were somewhat to mostly responsible for the .COM bubble of the 90s and its eventual crash in 2000... Unfortunately the .COM BUST not only took down the .COM industry (even those who were successful) but also just about the entire TECH sector who were also somewhat to greatly OVERVALUED by all the hype and instant 'child' mega-millionairs... Finally and to a lesser degree the .com bust hit many other companies listed on all the exchanges (not just the tech heavy NASDAQ).



    When something of this magnitude happens people sell out of panic and companies not even remotely tied to the tech or .com boom took hits out of pure fear selling.



    The bailouts you speak of are actually NOT for the VC fund companies (I don't thing any got any appreciable government assistance but I could be totally wrong on this) the bailouts you've seen the government handing out like candy to school kids are for the auto industry, and a large number of banks and financial institutions. Now it might be successfully argued that the VC firms were the FUEL that cause the banks to loose BILLIONS but I'm not going to say one way or another since I'm not ever remotely sure... failed mortgage loans were their biggest problem which can be tied to a loss of jobs which can be tied to a downturn in the economy with can be tied to the market crash... So its not a huge stretch spot a connection but again I lack the economic background to make a claim one way or another.



    You can say VC FIRMS are evil if you want, but they do provide a service to 'startup companies' who could NEVER get money for their business operation from traditional sources like a commercial bank... even in their most 'frivolous' moments a commercial bank wouldn't EVER risk loaning MILLIONS of dollars to a company that hasn't even established itself yet and without a exact time frame in which the loan would need to be repaid. A 'great idea' alone wont get you a loan from a bank... they aren't about to make those kinds of risks too many people with too many 'great ideas'.



    This is where the need for a VC FIRM kicks in... Someone with an ENORMOUSLY brilliant idea needs funds to finish their R&D, Testing, prototyping, etc and it might cost 30 million or more and a bank will simply laugh in their face... A VC FUND (if convinced) will give them the money they need in exchange for a very large cut of the company 70% , 80% isn't unheard of. The genius had the cash they need and the VC FIRM has ownership in a company that might eventually BUST due to unforeseen complications or just bad luck... On the other hand the company could end up the next Apple, Microsoft, Netscape , Amazon or Google and 30 million will be a laughable sum... In essence they roll the dice (in an somewhat informed manner) and hope they don't loose everything. If they DO then hopefully one of the other 10 or 20 companies the VC FRIM has invested in makes it... It only takes 1 HIT and suddenly 19 'loser investments' become all but meaningless.



    Frankly they provide a service that nobody else will offer and lots of great companies wouldn't be in operation today had they not existed. Were they so SOLE reason for the .com bubble and bust? Debatable but I don't think so..
  • Reply 13 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    What's that defunct gambling scheme where one keeps doubling their bet when they lose?



    Toning down the hype just a bit, I just hope the money is being applied in the right areas.





    See what the Woz says about the iPad



    http://www.macworld.co.uk/education/...NewsID=3218942





    Also see these adoption rates for various Apple devices.



    http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_091005.html





    Thinking a little, the iPad is just a larger and more expensive iPod Touch right?



    Not saying sales are going to be bad, I just think it will find it's niche primarily in education/games but not be a world changer.



    I think that you may have misunderstood the point that Woz was making. He was not supporting the notion that the iPad will be a niche product, which appears to be your conclusion. He was supporting the idea that the iPad will open up computing to people who could benefit from computers, but are intimidated by them.



    My feeling is that the potential market is huge. You will certainly have iPad users who are geeky types like me (and possibly you), but you will have other people who are not geeks but are comfortable with technology and want computing solutions that are elegant and fun to use (meaning no full computer OS). I'm thinking of assorted professionals such as doctors, architects, astronauts, pilots, teachers, museum workers, and molecular biologists. Then you add the huge numbers of people who struggle with non-telephony uses of iPhones and other smart phone because they are over 45 and the tiny text is too hard to read.



    The iPad will not only change the world by itself. It will change the world by the competing devices that it inspires. Windows 7 or Linux-based tablets are probably destined to be niche products for some tech junkies. However, there will be several easy-to-use Android-based tablets, all in a 4:3 aspect ratio, by the way. THe day will come when "pads" will become commonplace and affordable. That will be the legacy of the iPad. That will be a part of Apple's legacy.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The venture capital outfit revealed that the original $100 million iFund is now fully committed across 14 companies,



    $100 million across 14 companies?

    They made it sound like they were goping to help loads of start-ups and "entrepreneurs".
  • Reply 15 of 27
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Not sure I see the point you are trying to make with that link...



    The chart helps illustrate where the iPad will eventually wind up.





    The iPod is a mixed bag, $60-$250, with 36% of computing households having one.



    The iPod Touch is priced between $200-$400, with only 9% of computing households having one.



    The iPad is priced between $500 and $830...





    just saying.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Well ... okay ... yes it can be said with a certain degree of accuracy that VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDS were somewhat to mostly responsible for the .COM bubble of the 90s and its eventual crash in 2000... Unfortunately the .COM BUST not only took down the .COM industry (even those who were successful) but also just about the entire TECH sector who were also somewhat to greatly OVERVALUED by all the hype and instant 'child' mega-millionairs... Finally and to a lesser degree the .com bust hit many other companies listed on all the exchanges (not just the tech heavy NASDAQ).



    When something of this magnitude happens people sell out of panic and companies not even remotely tied to the tech or .com boom took hits out of pure fear selling.



    The bailouts you speak of are actually NOT for the VC fund companies (I don't thing any got any appreciable government assistance but I could be totally wrong on this) the bailouts you've seen the government handing out like candy to school kids are for the auto industry, and a large number of banks and financial institutions. Now it might be successfully argued that the VC firms were the FUEL that cause the banks to loose BILLIONS but I'm not going to say one way or another since I'm not ever remotely sure... failed mortgage loans were their biggest problem which can be tied to a loss of jobs which can be tied to a downturn in the economy with can be tied to the market crash... So its not a huge stretch spot a connection but again I lack the economic background to make a claim one way or another.



    You can say VC FIRMS are evil if you want, but they do provide a service to 'startup companies' who could NEVER get money for their business operation from traditional sources like a commercial bank... even in their most 'frivolous' moments a commercial bank wouldn't EVER risk loaning MILLIONS of dollars to a company that hasn't even established itself yet and without a exact time frame in which the loan would need to be repaid. A 'great idea' alone wont get you a loan from a bank... they aren't about to make those kinds of risks too many people with too many 'great ideas'.



    This is where the need for a VC FIRM kicks in... Someone with an ENORMOUSLY brilliant idea needs funds to finish their R&D, Testing, prototyping, etc and it might cost 30 million or more and a bank will simply laugh in their face... A VC FUND (if convinced) will give them the money they need in exchange for a very large cut of the company 70% , 80% isn't unheard of. The genius had the cash they need and the VC FIRM has ownership in a company that might eventually BUST due to unforeseen complications or just bad luck... On the other hand the company could end up the next Apple, Microsoft, Netscape , Amazon or Google and 30 million will be a laughable sum... In essence they roll the dice (in an somewhat informed manner) and hope they don't loose everything. If they DO then hopefully one of the other 10 or 20 companies the VC FRIM has invested in makes it... It only takes 1 HIT and suddenly 19 'loser investments' become all but meaningless.



    Frankly they provide a service that nobody else will offer and lots of great companies wouldn't be in operation today had they not existed. Were they so SOLE reason for the .com bubble and bust? Debatable but I don't think so..



    I agree with your summary of the difference between VC funds and other types of financial services. I also agree with your explanation of the key role of these companies in providing funding options to companies that otherwise may remain only an idea in the mind of a socially awkward, but brilliant innovator. However, I disagree with the idea that the government gave out bailout money like candy with no useful objective that benefited the country. I don't want to get this thread off topic too much, but I think a case can be made that government intervention averted a catastrophic cascade of failures that would have made all of our lives much more difficult. We're fortunate that Ben Bernanke learned some key lessons from studying the Great Depression.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    $100 million across 14 companies?

    They made it sound like they were goping to help loads of start-ups and "entrepreneurs".



    They're targeting the most promising and most serious developers. Return on investment is critical in this situation. These VC guys are not going to fund tiny companies or single developers with apps that look like the latest Tetris knockoff.



    Sadly this also means that I will never get any funding, so my idea of an app for City of Heroes players will never see the light of day
  • Reply 18 of 27
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post


    He was supporting the idea that the iPad will open up computing to people who could benefit from computers, but are intimidated by them.



    Right, the iPad is less intimidating and complex, but it's not a standalone device, it's dependent upon a real computer to operate, update and likely other things like buying Apps.



    So someone in the household is got to have a real computer, as they are going to be managing the iPad for these people Woz mentions.



    This is why I think it's a more of a niche product.





    Quote:

    Then you add the huge numbers of people who struggle with non-telephony uses of iPhones and other smart phone because they are over 45 and the tiny text is too hard to read.



    It also has a highly reflective screen, which is a considerable problem for older folks.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post


    Right, the iPad is less intimidating and complex, but it's not a standalone device, it's dependent upon a real computer to operate, update and likely other things like buying Apps.



    So someone in the household is got to have a real computer, as they are going to be managing the iPad for these people Woz mentions.



    This is why I think it's a more of a niche product.



    Okay, I see how you're using the word "niche". I thought that you meant that only a small segment of people would find an iPad useful. You're saying that it will not replace a computer in most situations. I agree. As much as I know I will love my iPad, there's no way it can replace my iMac. So the iPad will be a product that works best in the context of being coupled with a computer; however, I think that iPad-like devices tablets will be used in many computer using segments of society, and will change how we think about using computers. I would not have used the word "niche" for such a device, but I'm willing to accept alternative ways of thinking.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post


    but I think a case can be made that government intervention averted a catastrophic cascade of failures that would have made all of our lives much more difficult. We're fortunate that Ben Bernanke learned some key lessons from studying the Great Depression.



    Yes, much like the forest service in the early 1900's when their policy as to put out any fire before sunset on the same day it was discovered.

    This way, none of the undergrowth was burned away, thereby allowing catastrophic fires in the future (because all the undergroth would continue to build up, fueling these fires) and preventing new growth, which in many cases (redwoods and seqoias are good examples), actually require a fire to open the seeds.



    Now all these companies that should have gone under in the true capitalist way, (because they suck) are robbing the taxpayers and preventing true competiton from weeding out the garbage.
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