Moments ago at the Twilio Conference in San Francisco, 500 Startups founder Dave McClure announced the launch of a second Twilio MicroFund of $250,000 to invest in companies that are based on Twilio’s Connect platform.
McClure and Ron Conway of SV Angel will each invest $125,000 in the fund. McClure will manage the investments, with Twilio serving as an advisor.
Twilio, a 500 Startup’s portfolio company, provides cloud-based telephony services. The San Francisco-based company, which is hosting a two-day conference, has raised more than $15 million in venture funding from 500 Startups, Bessemer Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Lowercase Capital and numerous angel investors.
The first Twilio MicroFund of $250,000 was supported entirely by McClure and launched in late 2010. It has funded 10 companies to date: Callyo, FastCall411, KnockKnock, Magnolia Prime, Order Mapper, Proven, Qwipd, Textaurant, Voicendo and Volta.
Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson told me that the idea for the fund came from a McClure tweet, which he posted not long after backing Twilio initially in 2009. In the tweet, McClure said he had invested in his fourth startup based on the company’s platform.
“Dave was already investing in Twilio companies, so we decided to formalize the process,” Lawson said.
Apparently, there is no shortage of startups working off of Twilio’s API. At the conference on Thursday, six finalists will compete for an investment from the Twilio MicroFund: Remind101, CallMeMeeting, BlueFusion, TeenDriver, Mobonics and TalkDesk.
Disclaimer: I’m taking part in the judging of the startups Thursday afternoon at the Twilio Conference with Paul Singh of 500 Startups and Manu Kumar of K9 Ventures.