Interview: iFund Manager Matt Murphy Says “The iPhone Is The Place To Be”


Earlier this year, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) surprised us all when Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers announced it would support the iPhone by creating a standalone $100 million iFund focused on making investments in companies building iPhone applications. Six months later, KPCB has written five checks, and the iPhone has turned out to be a dynamic marketplace with millions of applications being downloaded by tons of eager users. Today, I caught up with Matt Murphy, who is managing the iPhone-focused fund, to discuss everything from the potential opportunity that the iPhone represents to what’s next for mobile to *Google* Android and the recent announcement that Cyriac Roeding, the former EVP of mobile at *CBS*, will be joining KPCB as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

Here’s excerpts from the interview:

Why did KPCB decide on creating a fund focused on one platform? Doesn’t that go against the grain of VC’s who like to diversify their risks? “The way we look at the iPhone is that it is the leading platform, and by far has the most advanced data applications. Over time, most companies [in the fund] will eventually diversify to other platforms, so it



I think that they might be right. iPhone is fast becoming a huge worldwide brand and they could capitalize on it.

Private Equity

It looks like the iFund now has made 4 investments, which is pretty amazing given its short history, although now that the app store has over 10,000 available applications it seems like a tough environment to get noticed, let alone make a buck.


iPhone is a great platform and KPCB has taken a leadership role by promoting development of iPhone apps. I would only wish they keep the focus global and in particular the emerging markets where mobile growth is tremendous. I submitted an application for iFund and received a positive interest, but decided against funding because I am from India !

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