Venture firm throws money at Facebook leeches

bay-facebook.jpgSilicon Valley venture capital firm Bay Partners said it wants to write checks of between $25,000 and $250,000 to developers writing applications for Facebook’s platform.

This is like candy to some developers, who will enjoy nothing more than getting paid to write an application for the popular social network — where million users are selecting new applications ranging from photo-editors from photo-editor to music players at a rapid rate.

The project is remarkable because it suggests the firm believes these applications may grow into major companies simply by gorging on the massive 29 million userbase of Facebook as a testing ground. Bay’s program, called AppFactory, will invest in “tens” of companies using a fast-track approval process very similar to Charles River Venture’s Quickstart program. The program also write quick, early checks of up to $250,000, on the understanding the entrepreneur would come back to seek more funding if their project begins to look promising. Increasingly, venture firms are doing this to get early ownership of companies. CRV’s program focuses solely on convertibles — which are loans to companies that transform into equity holdings when the company goes on to raise a new round of capital. Bay Partners said it is flexible, offering convertibles and straight equity investments.

Bay said it is collaborating with Ajaxian.com, which has an active community of Ajax developers, as part of its effort to create an ecosystem that helps developers get started more quickly.