Venture Capitalist Backs Apple iPad Apps; Should You?
Kleiner Perkins, the famed venture capitalist, is pumping $200 million dollars into their ‘iFund’ — which is designed for companies that develop Apps for Apple. Anyone who isn’t taking the iPad seriously yet might want to take a closer look at Kleiner Perkins’ strategy. Here’s why.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — or just KPCB for short — has actually doubled the the size of the iFund by making this announcement. iFund was initially launched in March 2008 and from that KPCB has reported the initial $100 million given to 14 companies blossomed into an added $330 million in funding. And that’s kind of a big deal.
Now, you might be wondering how to get your hands on some of this investment money. You’d have to be a software development company supporting iPhone OS-related apps. Or in today’s day and age, iPad related apps. KPCB claims they have funded more than 20 iPad apps that are in development. And they have no doubt that the same iPhone app adoption / hysteria will follow with the iPad.
Particular areas of interest on iPad include entertainment, communication, social networking, commerce, health care, and education.
And of KPCB Partner John Doerr, some bold words regarding the investment…
“Welcome to the brave new post-PC era where a swoosh of fluidity replaces the traditional mouse-bound GUI. 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.”
So: to VARs, Resellers, partners, companies and everyone involved in the channel, do you think it’s time to re-evaluate your iPhone / iPad strategy?
We’ve said it time and time again, the iPad would be a perfect fit for the vertical markets, and any company looking to develop some serious health-care software might want to look at the iPad as a platform. It wouldn’t hurt to get some venture capitalist cash in there too.
But the investment means more than a swaying trend, it’s also a sing of confidence. It’s worked before, let’s do it again, and let’s do it even bigger — that seems to be the prevailing sentiment. Now, I don’t expect to see the iPad popping up in the channel by the end of April, but given a years time, I’ll be surprised if the iPad isn’t in more professional services than previously speculated.
There’s just one nagging issue: Why hasn’t Apple plugged their own channel strategy with the iPad? A venture capitalism firm seems set on the iPad’s future, but how come Apple hasn’t pushed it further?
It could simply be Steve Job’s traditional slow-go ‘when it’s ready’ approach, but it would be nice to see Apple position itself with the iPad as an enterprise tool more than they did with the iPhone.
So, to all the developers out there, happy coding.