Facebook Users and Advisory Council Select Five Teams of Entrepreneurs to Conclude Second fbFund Competition
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Dec. 10, 2008 – Facebook® today announced the five grand prize recipients of its second fbFund competition: GroupCard, Kontagent, MouseHunt, Weddingbook and Wildfire. Collectively, the recipients will receive more than $1 million in non-recourse grants, in addition to mentorship and marketing resources.
Facebook users and the fbFund advisory council, which is comprised of members from Facebook, Accel Partners and Founders Fund, determined the grand prize recipients for fbFund, a $10 million seed fund focused on supporting entrepreneurs building businesses on Facebook Platform. What began with more than 600 applicants narrowed to 25 finalists, and culminated with five innovative teams in the areas of greeting cards, analytics, gaming, wedding planning, and interactive promotions.
“We started fbFund to encourage innovation on Facebook Platform and remove some of the challenges of starting a company,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Facebook. “We’ve seen strong teams of developers and entrepreneurs emerge and are excited by the potential of these 25 fbFund teams to give our 130 million users new ways to share and communicate what matters most.”
In this latest competition, 25 semi-finalists were announced in October 2008, each receiving $25,000 in non-recourse grants to develop their applications and businesses on Facebook Platform. In the final round of this competition, Facebook users had the opportunity to test applications and vote for their favorites. More than 180,000 votes were cast by 88,000 unique users via the fbFund application, which included videos submitted by the developers to showcase their work.
“Accel is focused on supporting entrepreneurs who identify unique opportunities and have the ability to transform industries, which is why we’re delighted to work with this group of talented and passionate fbFund innovators,” said Jim Breyer, managing partner, Accel Partners.
“At Founders Fund, we bring the experience of building great teams to those we invest in, which is why we are excited to begin working with the next class of fbFund entrepreneurs who’ve already shown great promise in further innovating on Facebook Platform,” said Justin Fishner-Wolfson, principal, Founders Fund.
Facebook is proud to announce the final five grand prize recipients, which will each receive $225,000 in non-recourse grant funding, in alphabetical order:
The GroupCard application lets users celebrate any special occasion by sending friends a card signed by the whole group. With GroupCard, users can create a printable online card and pass it around for messages, photos, audio, and gifts.
Kontagent is the leading viral analytics platform for social network application developers. Kontagent analytics provides deep social data visualization and analysis that delivers actionable insights delivered via a hosted, on-demand service.
MouseHunt is a clever game in which users embody a hunter who must trap the mice infecting the kingdom. Users are rewarded for each mouse caught, as they vie to become the best MouseHunter in the land.
4) Weddingbook – video: http://vimeo.com/2166288 app: http://apps.facebook.com/wedsnap_wedding/start.php
Weddingbook is a social network that helps Facebook users prepare for and plan their weddings. Brides and grooms meet on Weddingbook to get advice, support and inspiration during their engagement and wedding planning processes.
Wildfire is an application that enables consumers to discover, share and engage with interactive promotions like contests, sweepstakes and give-aways, and allows companies to easily create their own attractive, branded promotions that are automatically integrated with Facebook’s social features. Selection criteria was based on team ability, business potential and Facebook’s Guiding Principles, which identify successful applications as being social, useful, expressive, intuitive, and exuding originality of concept, market potential and team success.
“We’re thrilled to see the success of integrating user voting into the fbFund judging process,” said Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications, public policy and platform marketing, Facebook. “This has been one of the most effective programs we’ve seen to date that actively engaged users in promoting the development of great applications on Facebook Platform.”
The winners of the first fbFund funding cycle were announced in July 2008 at Facebook’s second annual f8 developer conference, and included applications from a variety of areas, including social education, shopping and travel. Facebook plans to announce the third fbFund cycle in early 2009.
About fbFund: fbFund is a seed fund focused on supporting entrepreneurs who are building their business on Facebook or with Facebook Connect by providing $25,000-$225,000 non-recourse grants. This fund was formed to provide resources to the Facebook developer ecosystem and eliminate some of the challenges of starting a company by supporting the development of businesses that provide users with a social and engaging experience. To learn more about fbFund and the recipients, visit: http://developers.facebook.com/fbFund.php.