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MENLO PARK, Calif. – Always searching for “the next big idea,” one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms is doubling its bet on Apple’s mobile gadgets in hopes of cashing in on the highly anticipated iPad.

has added $100 million to an "iFund" that started with $100 million two years ago. That’s when the firm began to invest in startups focused on building applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch.

"Welcome to the brave new post-PC era where a swoosh of fluidity replaces the traditional mouse-bound GUI,” said KPCB Partner John Doerr. “A new, truly revolutionary platform is rare, and a prize for entrepreneurs.’’
‘," said John Doerr, KPCB Partner. "We expect all ventures to have an iPad strategy. We will fund many more ventures for iPad, and the iFund will accelerate their success."

With that initial round of money now invested in 14 companies, KPCB sees another golden opportunity in the iPad. Apple will start selling the computer tablet Saturday.

According to the firm, its iFund investments so far have produced:

• More than $100 million of 2010 mobile revenue
• More than 100 million aggregate mobile downloads
• 18 titles that have reached the Top 10 on the Apple App Store

“We’re ecstatic to be doubling down on the iFund after two short years,” said Matt Murphy, another KPCB partner. “The success of the App Store and its impact on consumers has been 10 times faster and bigger than we expected. Kleiner Perkins and iFund companies have enjoyed an incredibly helpful and unwavering partner in Apple."

People pay attention to Kleiner Perkins’ high-tech wagers because the firm has hit so many other jackpots. Its previous investments include Google, Netscape and

"Kleiner Perkins has done a terrific job at finding, funding and supporting great iPhone app developers," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer, in a statement provided by KPCB. "We are thrilled that they are doubling the size of their fund, along with expanding it to now include iPad developers too."