Today 500 Startups is announcing a $10 million fund built for mobile startups, seven years after Apple kicked off the mobile app revolution with the iPhone.
This fund — entitled “500 Mobile Collective” — isn’t the first of its kind. 500 Startups isn’t new to the mobile industry, nor has it only just realized the significance of smartphones. New 500 Startups investing partner Edith Yeung laughed off jokes about the staleness of “going mobile” in a call with VentureBeat last week.
According to Yeung, who ran marketing and business development for Sequoia-backed mobile web browser Dolphin Browser, the 500 Mobile Collective will fund a modernized breed of mobile startup — “the kind of startups which operate 100 percent and monetize 100 percent on mobile,” she said.
This specialized $10 million mini-fund, or microfund, is also nothing new for 500 Startups, but until today, the firm’s interest in microfunds was regionally focused; past microfunds include 500 Durians (Southeast Asia) and 500 Luchadores (Mexico).
500 Startups founder Dave McClure tells VentureBeat that these microfunds “make people aware of the categories we’re investing in. … They’re good marketing campaigns to raise awareness,” and they’re “also helpful to attract great fund managers.” Yeung “was going to be starting her own mobile fund anyway,” McClure said, “and it was helpful for us to have someone like her.”
And so Yeung will run the 500 Mobile Collective, alongside a handful of advisors: Twitter and Square investor Greg Kidd, mFund cofounder Joe Wu, interim Mozilla chief Jay Sullivan, and Dolphin Browser chief Yongzhi Yang.