Further to my earlier blog on making-millions-while-sitting-in-the-pub type businesses, it seems that Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Silicon Valley’s top venture capital company, has put $100 million into a fund which will exclusively back start-up companies developing iPhone applications. Naturally, it’s called the iFund.
The iFund follows on an estimated $383 million invested in start-ups for mobile phone apps so far this year. Google has announced a $10 million challenge for apps developers for its mobile OS called Android, and RIM, the makers of Blackberry, are expected to announce a similar fund to iFund shortly.
According to the New York Times, the iFund has received 2,500 business plans and has funded four of them. One, called Whrrl, allows one iPhone user to track the location of another iPhone user. The others have funny names like Ngmoco and Gogii.
Gogii has an app by which you point your phone at something, push a button, and it tells you all about what it’s looking at.
It’s a bit like that really silly app when you dial 2580 and your phone tells you the name of a tune being played where you are.
Encouraging the rash of moble apps investments by VCs, always a sheep-like bunch, is that fact that, so far, 60 million apps have been downloaded to iPhones since the 3G iPhone was launched.
iFund is based inSand Hill Road
, the VC ghetto off Interstate 280 between San Jose and San Francisco. It is headed up by Matt Murphy.