Facebook’s in-house business incubator and mini financier, fbFund, appears to be mothballed. After two years of funding companies building on Facebook’s developer platform, the program’s success has been dwarfed by the massive new social gaming market, and by the growing ecosystem of marketing service companies around its performance advertising and Page products.
After noticing that the company has been completely quiet about fbFund plans so far this year, we asked it about its plans. “At this time we have no plans for future iterations of the program,” a company spokesperson tells us, “but we will keep you posted as soon as we have anything new to share.” The company also says that it will “continue to support innovation from the startup community through initiatives like the developer garage program.”
The fbFund, administered by Facebook venture investors Accel Partners and Founders Fund, gave small amounts of grants (in year one) and investments (in year two) to chosen companies, along with mentoring help. It backed a number of companies that have been acquired, or are still around today, including Wildfire, NutshellMail, and Kontagent.
But now, everyone is moving on — notably, Dave McClure, the Founders Fund angel investor who ran the fbFund program last year, has just raised his own new fund, called 500 Startups. “I’m iterating on the concept,” he said, referring to the large number of smaller investments, plus mentoring, that he’ll provide companies.