RealTime IT News

Worth Reading? VC iFund for iPhone Has a Blog

The venerable Silicon Valley investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has already spent $30 million on iPhone-related startups and now it has launched blog. Right, just what we need, another blog. But this one should be of keen interest to those following the iPhone, particularly developers and others in the mobile industry.

"We're closest to the iPhone and that's where so much of the action is," Matt Murphy, who heads the $100 million iFund, told InternetNews.com. But expect the blog to cover broader industry topics, like Murphy's first post, which included coverage of the recent CTIA conference and some thoughts about the carriers' embrace of more open models. He says future posts will include guest bloggers and others at KPCB involved with various iFund-backed companies.

This week's first entry had one bit of news, that the $30 million investment to date includes an unannounced venture slated to launch in Q1. The iFund was announced with great fanfare earlier this year when CEO Steve Jobs first announced plans to offer a software development kit for the iPhone.

The four announced iFund releases are: Pelago, a company that offers "social discovery and location sharing" through an application called Whrrl, available now; iControl, a home automation and monitoring service slated for the Q1 of 2009; ng:moco, an iPhones games company which will ship its first titles later this month which is live on the AppStore and GOGII, "a new social interaction and marketing platform" set for launch later this year. The GOGII Web site indicates the company will offer text messaging services that connect individuals with groups that share common interests.

Given the iFund's perspective, there's likely to be a fair bit of boosterism for the iPhone as in the first entry that included comments like:

First and foremost. the iPhone. In a word, "Wow!" 1M 3G devices in 3 days and an estimated 6M in 7 weeks.

Second, the astonishing success of the AppStore. "Double Wow" ."

But Murphy insists even with the iFund's close ties to Apple, the blog will be an independent voice. "I think the main goal is that we're looking at so many different ventures around the iPhone ecoystrem and mobile that we have a lot of observations and discussions internally as well as externally," he said.

"The blog is another way for us to communicate with entrepreneurs and open up a line or channel of communication around this burgeoning, rapidly changing area," Murphy added.

There's an entry planned for later this month on monetization that Murphy said will discuss where the mobile industry needs to mature in helping developers realize revenue sooner.