How big is the future of Social Web? According to Facebook, Amazon, Zynga and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, at least US$ 250 million dollars big. The high-profile investors launched what they're calling the sFund at Facebook's headquarters on Thursday.
It's All About the Entrepreneurs
(left to right: KPCB partner John Doerr, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, KPCB partner Bing Gordon)
"If you're going to take any theme away from today, it's that it's all about the entrepreneurs, and what they're doing to create a social Web," said event host and KPCB partner, John Doerr.
And he was serious. The US$ 250 million initiative aims to support the entrepreneurs inventing the social applications and services of the future, and will provide financing, counsel, and relationship capital for a new generation of entrepreneurs to deliver on the promise of the social web.
The commitment not only highlights the importance of the future of social Web, but also in the sort of faith big companies have in the ability of today's providers to cook up efficient solutions. For example, when asked what they were most excited to see 5 years from now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a comment about his interests in the advantages of partnering with companies that have been social from day one: "I think were going to see the companies that have been social from the ground up have a real advantage over the companies that are just slapping it on top of their exisiting technology," he said.
Bing Gordon of KPCB agreed, stating that as far as scoring any of these monies goes, companies that have a ground-up social idea are going to get a much longer meeting than the ones just adding on.
It will be most interesting to see the response to the pot, especially from existing companies as they try to stay afloat. As for all you entrepreneurs in the woodwork, we hope you're ready for some really big opportunities.
“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 Doerr. “There’s never been a better time than now to start a new social venture.”