October 21st, 2010

Portland startups take note: Kleiner Perkins is going after the social Web in a big way

Portland startups take note: Kleiner Perkins is going after the social Web in a big way

It’s true. Most of the time I try to keep an increasingly myopic eye on the startup and tech scene in Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding areas. Not even all startups mind you. Mostly those focused on Web apps, mobile, and open source pursuits. In all honesty, there’s more than enough there to cover.

But every once in a while, there’s some earth shattering news that forces me to look outside the region. And to cover more broad reaching stories. And it just so happens one of those stories broke today. You see, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers just launched a $250 million fund focused on social Web startups.

Now, if that string of names isn’t ringing any bells, let’s get you grounded. Kleiner Perkins is one of the top tier investment houses. But that doesn’t keep them from taking risks. They’ve already started a fund focused on iPhone apps. And today, they’ve announced a new fund focused on financing entrepreneurs who are focused on the social Web.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) today announced the sFund, a new $250 million initiative to invest in entrepreneurs inventing social applications and services. Amazon.com, Facebook, and Zynga, the leading companies defining today’s social and online environment; entertainment and media leaders Comcast and Liberty Media and Allen & Company, LLC, have committed to invest in the sFund and serve as strategic partners. The sFund will provide financing, counsel, and relationship capital for a new generation of entrepreneurs to deliver on the promise of the social web.

Wait. Didn’t I just write about Amazon, Facebook, and Zynga? Weird.

So what kinds of companies are they seeking? Well, local social Web focused Jive Software, who recently took on investment from Kleiner Perkins, was mentioned as an example of the types of businesses the sFund is seeking to, um, fund.

For more information, see the KPCB sFund, follow @kpcb on Twitter, or like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers on Facebook.

(Hat tip Bill Lynch)

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