Facebook, Amazon Invest in Venture Capital Fund for Networking Startups

Published by: Frank Galvano on 22nd Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano

Facebook, Amazon Invest in Venture Capital Fund for Networking Startups

A $250 million fund was started Thursday with financial backing from Facebook, Amazon.com, Comcast, and several other major technology companies.  The fund was established to invest in startup companies trying to cash in on the growing popularity of social networking.

Called the “S Fund”, the money will be managed by Silicon Valley-based Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm that was among the early investors in Internet giants like Amazon, Aol, and Google.

The capitalists investing in the fund believe that the success of Facebook, which boasts a global user base of 500 million, is just the beginning of the next wave of incredible innovation on the Web.  The fund's managers will attempt to find and fund new social networking companies in the hopes of accelerating their success.

The fund's primary initial investors are Facebook, Amazon.com, cable TV and broadband Internet service provider Comcast Corp., Zygam Games Network Inc., Liberty Media Corp., and the investment bank Allen & Co. LLC.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the fund will be a huge aid for entrepreneurs trying to build social applications from the ground up.  "The opportunity is there in the next five years or so to pick any industry and reimagine it in the social Web," he said.

$5 million of the fund has already gone to CafeBots Inc., A company in Palo Alto, California that is developing a “friend relationship management” platform to help users make better use of their social network.  The company was founded by three Stanford University graduates, has yet to release a product, and is so far operating in relative secrecy.

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