Mobile looks like a threat to the growth of Facebook’s profits, because advertisers aren’t spending much and users aren’t enjoying the experience. But Matt Cohler, thinks that mobile ads are going to be huge, “bigger than the web.” Formerly a Facebook executive and now a general partner with Benchmark Capital, he compares the mobile ad experience to television.
“It’s a lot more like a TV than a web browser ever was,” he says in an interview with Michael Arrington today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. “[With the web] you’d get 12 different things going on at the same time. It’s not that immersive. The smartphone is one screen for the user to focus on, in a device they have a deep emotional connection to.”
Photo-sharing app Instagram, which he invested in before it was bought by Facebook, was planning on doing this eventually, he adds.
Although he hasn’t made any investments yet this year, he also says that he’s particularly interested in mobile payments, as millions of of users can now make purchases from anywhere. And he’s looking at mobile marketplaces, like private-car service Uber, that take advantage of existing networks through mobile connectivity.
Cohler also shares another interesting historical note. In the very early days of Facebook, around when they were moving into their first offices, the company would talk about itself as “a device in your pocket, that would tell you what your shared context was with anyone around you.” This was before the iPhone, Android and other smartphones of today — and now, that device in your pocket really is what you use, just like early Facebookers had imagined.
Matt Cohler is a General Partner at Benchmark. He’s responsible for identifying investment opportunities in Internet-related companies, in addition to working closely with companies across the firm’s portfolio. At Benchmark, Matt has partnered with entrepreneurs from across the social, mobile and cloud industries from around the globe such as Instagram, Dropbox, Quora, Asana, Domo, Edmodo, Baixing, CouchSurfing, Peixe Urbano, ResearchGate, 1stdibs, and Zendesk. Prior to joining Benchmark he served as the VP of Product Management at Facebook, where he led the...
Benchmark is an early stage venture capital firm focusing in Social, Mobile, Local and Cloud companies that disrupt various industries. Founded in 1995, the firm has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California. The firm has been recognized for its commitment to open source and is noted for creating the first equal ownership and compensation structure for its partners. General partners are Matt Cohler, Bruce Dunlevie, Peter Fenton, Bill Gurley, Kevin Harvey, and Mitch Lasky. Since its founding...