KPs iFund deluged with pitches

The new iPhone-focused iFund from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has already received about 1,500 pitches from entrepreneurs, according to Kleiner Perkins Partner Matt Murphy. He made the comment to attendees of the Wireless Innovations 2008 conference last Wednesday.

In a follow up email interview with PE Week, Murphy said that the pitches he has seen so far: “I’m impressed with the number of great ideas and passion of the entrepreneurs around the iPhone and the opportunity in mobile. We’re in active dialogue with a number of the companies. There is a very wide range of plans from nascent ideas to proven entrepreneurs.”

Kleiner Perkins and Apple Inc. (makers of the iPod and iPhone) announced in March the joint effort as a $100 million allocation raised from Kleiner Perkins’ existing limited partners

Murphy also said that Kleiner Perkins is open to syndicating iFund deals with other venture firms, noting, “We’ve always enjoyed collaborating with firms.”

The $100 million iFund has backed two companies to date, according to Murphy: iControl Networks Inc. and Pelago.

The iFund invested in excess of $5 million in Pelago, Murphy says. The March investment was reportedly a Series B for the Seattle-based startup, which offers a mobile phone application called Whrrl that lets people “discover the world through the eyes of your friends and other people you trust.”

And just this month, the iFund participated with Charles River Ventures and Intel Capital in a $15.5 million Series B this month for iControl, which makes monitoring and control solutions for security. —Lawrence Aragon