Every Facebook developer’s ears should perk up a little tonight because Bay Partners is launching the first-ever VC fund specifically earmarked for investing in Facebook applications today. It’s called AppFactory: “A fast-track program supporting entrepreneurs dedicated to developing applications for the Facebook Platform.”
Unlike others in the venture community who are skeptical about how well Facebook applications can be monetized, it sounds like Salil Deshpande, Angela Strange, and the team at Bay Partners are drinking the Platform kool-aid. Although the only publicly reported application acquisition figure thus far is Slide’s $60,000 acquisition of Favorite Peeps, Salil is proclaiming his belief that the Platform represents the dawn of “the Social Operating System” and a “new economy which includes a marketplace of applications.”
The AppFactory provides funding, technical and business resources to help entrepreneurs identify, build, and monetize the next generation of applications. Since AppFactory investments are really bets on people and concepts, Bay will use an aggressive timeline and fast-track approach to awarding AppFactory funding. An entrepreneur’s time is best spent developing the application and experimenting with variables that affect adoption, virality, and usage, while exploring reasonable theories about monetization.
Bay Partners hopes to invest $25,000 to $250,000 in a few dozen companies over the life of the fund and plans on approving deals much more quickly than the normal weeks that most investments require. It plans on supporting Facebook entrepreneurs with technical and business advice and creating a community of “Factory Entrepreneurs” who will help each other figure out how to build a successful business on Facebook.
This is good news for Facebook developers with a team, prototype, and drive. Get in touch with Salil at firstname.lastname@example.org.