VCs bet on iPhone apps makers

A glance at the top 10 iPhone apps this morning shows eight that come from startups and only two -– Reuters and ESPN –- from big companies.

I forgot to mention below the $100 million iFund that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced in March to fund companies developing iPhone applications. Matt Murphy from KPCB told me that the iFund has backed five companies so far, but only two of the deals have been announced: Pelago and iControl.

Pelago makes an app called Whrrl, which lets friends connect on the go and share information about people, places and events. (For example, find which restaurants your friends like in a particular neighborhood.) Pelago was already a KPCB-backed company before the firm’s iFund led a $15 million series B round. The other announced iFund investment, iControl, also landed a $15 million series B round in April. iControl makes software for home security companies that lets customers monitor their homes remotely.

So there’s money out there for entrepreneurs making mobile apps, but it is of course highly competitive. KPCB’s Murphy says the firm has received more than 2,200 business plans submitted for the iFund, which he says is 20 times what they would have seen for mobile applications in a similar period before announcing the fund.

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