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Kleiner Perkins, Bing Gordon Launch $250M Fund For Social Apps

Kleiner Perkins, Bing Gordon Launch $250M Fund For Social Apps

October 21, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

October 21, 2010 | By Eric Caoili
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Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has launched sFund, a $250 million fund for social apps that will be managed by ex-Electronic Arts veteran Bing Gordon and supported by Facebook, Amazon, Zynga, and other firms.

The sFund will be dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs inventing social applications and services, providing "financing, counsel, and relationship capital for a new generation of entrepreneurs to deliver on the promise of the social web."

Facebook, Amazon, and FarmVille developer Zynga have signed on as "strategic partners" to provide sFund companies with support and networking opportunities. They will also invest in the initiative, as will Comcast, Liberty Media, and Allen & Company LLC.

Amazon Web Services' contributions to sFund companies will include "AWS Getting-Started Support" for a year, priority access to worldwide startup events, and business/technical support. Facebook will provide access to its platform teams, beta APIs, and programs like Facebook Credits.

Zynga will host regular sessions with sFund participants that will discuss management and technical development, including open source collaboration. Comcast Interactive Capital, Comcast's venture fund, will provide access to its parent company's resources, teams, and relationships.

Gordon, who was chief creative officer at EA for ten years and is currently a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, will run the initiative with the help of other partners at the Silicon Valley-based company.

"Our view for the next few years is that every industry is going to get fundamentally rethought and built around people," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at an sFund event earlier today, which was transcribed by TechCrunch. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, and Kleiner Perkins' John Doerr were also in attendance.

Zuckerberg pointed to Facebook's Photos, Events, and Groups products, as well as Zynga's games as examples of social products that have been disruptive in recent years. He added, "This is going to keep happening. And this fund is going to help that. Having a firm like Kleiner behind this is powerful."

"I think there is going to be an opportunity in the next few years to pick any industry and re-do it," Zuckerberg continued. "We decided to invest in a platform. It's about helping people build out these great applications. We want to continue that with this fund."


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