Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said it is unlikely to start an investment fund targeting Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system to correspond with its existing iFund, created to fund innovations across Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform.
Last week, Kleiner Perkins announced an unspecified investment in health and fitness applications maker WorkSmart Labs. Although WorkSmart's existing solutions (including the Noom Weight Loss exercise tracking and food logging motivation app, fitness trainer solution CardioTrainer and calorie counter Calorific) are optimized for Android, the developer recently submitted its first iPhone app to Apple's App Store.
Speaking last week during a Kleiner Perkins event, iFund managing partner Matt Murphy said the firm will remain focused on iOS, which is monetizing between five and ten times more than Android: "If you're an app that's heavy on the monetization side, you want to go where the monetization is," Murphy said, explaining why Kleiner Perkins remains so enthusiastic about the iOS platform.
Murphy isn't sold on Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone OS either, and he adds that iFund companies are taking a "wait and see" approach before expanding to the platform. Nor is iFund actively looking at app discovery solutions providers: "I worry that those aren't a good experience," Murphy said. "Discovery should be a lot simpler than that." Murphy anticipates Apple will improve the App Store user experience in the near future and also believes deeper Twitter and Facebook integration into iOS will expand viral recommendation capabilities.
Three years after first launching the iFund--which increased to $200 million in March 2010--Kleiner Perkins has now invested in 25 application developers and notes that iFund-backed apps are expected to generate over 300 million downloads by the end of 2011. TechCrunch reports that iFund-backed apps are on pace to yield $250 million in revenues this year.
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