* Start-up will launch around photos, experiences
* Kleiner Perkins invests several million dollars
* Targeted ads to provide future revenue
By Sarah McBride
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 14 Former Kleiner Perkins
partner Eric Feng says there's room for one more social
network-- built around experiences, not people.
His network, Erly.com, launches on Wednesday and draws on
the idea that people want to organize their experiences--
weddings, bike rides, or vacations-- around events themselves,
rather than people who participate.
Critics may scoff that in a world saturated by services
like Facebook and LinkedIn LNKD.N, it's hard for another
entrant to gain traction. Even Google (GOOG.O) has not yet
matched those services' popularity with its new Google+.
But Feng has found believers in Kleiner Perkins partners
John Doerr, the venture-capitalist behind Amazon.com (AMZN.O)
and Netscape, and Chi-Hua Chien, who are both serving on the
nascent company's board.
Kleiner is also backing the company financially, but Feng
would not go into details, other than to say their support is
less than $10 million. Feng worked for just a year at Kleiner,
serving on its cleantech team.
Erly's first product will be a smart photo album. It will
allow for group photo-building and support extra content like
videos and text. It will also draw on a user's Facebook
contacts to help find content, like more pictures, for each
Eventually, Feng said he plans to integrate other elements,
such as a calendar function, to help build future products. If
Erly knows a user is going to a baseball game, for example, it
can start collecting stats about the teams, let users know
which of their friends are planning to go, and make suggestions
such as bringing an umbrella if rain is coming.
Erly will one day feature targeted advertising but for now
is focusing on building up users rather than revenue.
"It's about helping people never miss out," Feng said.
Feng has enlisted Eugene Wei and Andrew Lin, the former
heads of product and engineering from online video service
Hulu, where Feng worked as chief technology officer before
moving to Kleiner.
(Editing by Edwin Chan and Steve Orlofsky)