Amazon and Facebook help launch venture fund

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A new $250 million venture capital fund supported by Amazon, Facebook, Zynga, Comcast and Liberty Media is looking for social networking startups to support.

A new $250 million venture capital fund supported by Amazon, Facebook, Zynga, Comcast and Liberty Media is looking for social networking startups to support.

Founded by majority investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), the sFund will be led by KPCB partner Bing Gordon, former chief creative officer and longtime executive at Electronic Arts and board director of Amazon.com and Zynga.

"Social is just getting started and the opportunities are vast," says Gordon. "As in the early days of the internet, the race is on. Today every business, organization, and entrepreneur should have a social strategy."

The first company to get funding is Cafebots, which has received a first round of $5 million. Described as the first company dedicated to Friend Relationship Management, it claims to help extract more information from and make better use of social graphs.

The investors will focus on developer services, and will each bring something of their own to the party. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will provide AWS Getting-Started Support for one year, priority access to worldwide Startup Events, and dedicated business and technical support.

Facebook will contribute access to its platform teams, beta APIs, and new programs, like Facebook Credits. Zynga will host periodic sessions with sFund companies to focus on management and technical development, including open source collaboration and Comcast Interactive Capital, Comcast's  venture fund, will provide access to its resources, teams, and relationships, it says.

"We’re at the beginning of a new era for social Internet innovators who are re-imagining and re-inventing a web of people and places, looking beyond documents and websites," said KPCB partner John Doerr. "There’s never been a better time than now to start a new social venture."

Anyone with a whizzo idea for a business can email an investor presentation to sfund@kpcb.com.  It needs to include a market  overview, description of the team, product description and explanation of how the technology stands out from the crowd and a business model overview.

"The web is being rebuilt around people, and we’re at a point where any app, website, or device can be designed to be social from the ground up," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "We’re focused on enabling entrepreneurs to build companies that can disrupt their industries."