Facebook Names First Class Of fbFund REV, Its New Incubator
Facebook has just announced the 20 final winners of the latest round of fbFund, the joint entity created by Accel Partners and Founders Fund in conjunction with the social network to help foster quality applications on Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect. This round’s winners will be invited to join a special Facebook startup incubator in downtown Palo Alto this summer. We’d previously learned about the program’s 50 finalists, each of whom was given $1,000 in advertising credit. But this is the real prize that the applicants have been shooting for.
The incubator program is being called fbFund REV, and will operate in a similar fashion (at least in some senses) to programs like Y Combinator and TechStars. Twenty companies, which include two nonprofits, will take part in a program headed by Founders Fund’s Dave McClure, and will have the chance to work with Facebook engineers and a range of Silicon Valley veterans. Facebook intends to keep us posted on the startups’ progress throughout the session, and will be holding a demo day at the end of the summer to help expose the companies to investors and press.
McClure is drawing inspiration from his experience teaching a Facebook course at Stanford, where he helped guide 25 teams of developers. He says that while the program has more participants than other incubators have had over the last few years, this can actually help the startups, as they feed off each others’ knowledge and experience. McClure adds that the program will be somewhat more structured than YC and other incubators and that it will emphasize getting the companies to release and iterate their products quickly, rather than spending a long time on the development cycle.
As for the funding being given to each startup, McClure says that the average amount of investment is $25,000, with over $500,000 being distributed in total (the non-profits are excluded from receiving funding, but are invited to the program for free). Investments are being made as a convertible note, with a discount for future priced rounds. fbFund is taking roughly a 1-5% stake in each company (around 2% for most of them), which is in line with what other incubators have been doing.
Here is the full list of winners, along with some brief introductions provided by Facebook:
- Frintro: Find friends of friends to date…or play matchmaker! If you’re single, you can search your friends’ friends and ask for intros. If you’re taken, you can set friends up. Friends of friends are the best people to date. It’s social dating via friendly intros.
- Funji: Funji is an avatar-based social networking app for the iPhone and iPod touch, satisfying users’ desire to express themselves and communicate with others in a fun, creative way. The team has more than five years of experience in the mobile market in both South Korea and the US.
- Gameyola: Gameyola is a distribution and monetization platform for casual Flash games. Flash games currently monetize poorly, but Gameyola solves this problem by providing Flash developers tools to sell virtual goods and to acquire users through social channels.
- Life360 (private beta): From keeping track of your kids to protecting your identity and getting back your lost stuff, Life360 is the place you go to keep your family safe, secure, and prepared for daily life.
- MyChurch.org: Churches create their own social networks on MyChurch.org. They extend their community between Sundays with tools to connect and engage their members. Over 30,000 church congregations are represented on MyChurch.org.
- Navify: Navify is a visual encyclopedia that combines Wikipedia articles with images, videos, and comments. It is the only general encyclopedia that allows you to listen to music videos, watch movie trailers, and browse news and celebrity photo galleries.
- Nutshell Mail: Simplify the way you manage Facebook and other social networks. NutshellMail consolidates activity from all your accounts into a single email digest delivered on your schedule. Don’t let email alerts clutter your inbox. Get informed, not interrupted. Get the Nut!
- Networked Blogs: Bring your blog to Facebook, and Facebook to your blog. Pull your Feed to your profile and business pages, add widgets to promote your network, and read the news from blogs you follow on the largest community of bloggers and blog lovers on Facebook.
- Paradise Paintball 3D: Paradise Paintball is the first game developed on Cmune’s next-generation social gaming platform. It is the first casual, 3D multiplayer FPS game on Facebook, Apple Dashboard, and Mac and PC. Play with up to eight friends and buy virtual items to enhance the gameplay.
- Photos I Like: Photos I Like is a digital media sharing and discovery site emphasizing lightweight social content, self-expression, and communities.
- RentMineOnline: Combines the success of resident referral programs with the power of social networks. Residents refer their community to friends through social networks like Facebook, and email to earn rewards and live with friends.
- RunMyErrand: RUNmyERRAND is a social networking inspired web and mobile marketplace that provides people and businesses an easy and trusted way to get everyday tasks done in their own hyperlocal community.
- RunThere: RunThere is a social-networking service for runners and cyclists. Users can map and measure their favorite routes (no GPS required), keep a running/biking log, and find athletes and routes nearby
- Sortuv: Sortuv lets you start with something you like, and discover more. Instead of searching for a “great restaurant” just say what you mean: “Find me a place sortuv like Spago in Seattle”. Check them out on the Web, on the iPhone, and on Facebook.
- TravelBrain/GeckoGo: Travel Brain by GeckoGo helps you track (and show off!) your travels, share experiences with others, and discover new places to visit. Learn from the knowledge of over 600,000 travelers, and get expert guide info from their Bradt Travel Guides partnership.
- Weardrobe (private beta): Weardrobe is a fashion-focused community for discovering different ways to wear clothing. Weardrobe provides a platform for people to share reviews of their own clothing, post photos of their looks, catalog their closet and search for style inspiration.
- Workstir: Workstir is a community that connects users with trustworthy local service providers. Anyone can post a job and choose a provider with confidence by browsing their past reviews. For businesses, Workstir provides a wealth of jobs in their area of expertise.
- Worldly Developments (private beta): Worldly Developments is building online services that will help you connect with the people, places and events in your local community. Its first product makes it a snap to plan, promote, and communicate around group activities.
- Samasource: Sama is Sanskrit for “equal” – Samasource finds and trains reliable QA professionals to test Facebook apps with a user-friendly interface that lives on Facebook Platform. With Samasource, developers lower costs, reduce poverty, and improve their applications.
- Vittana: Vittana enables you to lend directly to students in the developing world, $25 at a time. Their mission is to bring student loans to the developing world through the power of person-to-person microlending.
Congratulations to TechCrunch alum Mark Hendrickson, whose company Worldly Developments will be part of the program!