Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (May 2012)|
|Headquarters||Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, California, United States
|Key people||Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Brook Byers, Bill Joy, John Doerr|
|Products||Investments, private equity funds|
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) is a venture capital firm located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. The Wall Street Journal and other media have called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms and by Dealbook as "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers".
KPCB specializes in investments in incubation and early stage companies. Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in more than 500 ventures including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Geron Corporation, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Nebula, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign, WebMD and Zynga. KPCB focuses its global investments in three practice areas – digital, greentech and life sciences.
KPCB was formed in 1972. KPCB is highly selective in the companies it invests in, and it aims to build "category defining companies" that will become leaders in the field. It has traditionally focused on early-stage investments, but also does later-stage investments. KPCB is highly respected within the industry, and is regarded as having the best track record of building world-class companies. As such, an investment by KPCB is considered a sign that a company has great potential.
The firm was named after its four founding partners: Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank J. Caufield, and Brook Byers. Other notable members of the firm include partners John Doerr and Raymond J. Lane, as well as high-profile individuals such as Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy (who joined as partner in January 2005), former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (who joined in July 2005 in the newly created position of "strategic limited partner"), Vinod Khosla and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who joined as partner in November 2007 as part of a collaboration between KPCB and Gore's firm Generation Investment Management (GIM) to promote green technology, business and policy solutions.
In addition to Menlo Park headquarters the company has offices in Shanghai, China and in Beijing, China.
and venture capital
During the 1970s the growth of the venture capital industry saw the emergence of independent investment firms on Sand Hill Road, including Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, founded in 1972. Kleiner and Perkins came from technology industry backgrounds; Kleiner was a founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Perkins was from Hewlett-Packard's early computer hardware division. Located, in Menlo Park, California, Kleiner Perkins had access to the growing technology industries in the area. By the early 1970s, there were many semiconductor companies based in the Santa Clara Valley as well as early computer firms using their devices and programming and service companies. Venture capital firms suffered a temporary downturn in 1974, when the stock market crashed and investors were naturally wary of this new kind of investment fund. Nevertheless, Kleiner Perkins was still active in this period.
It was not until 1978 that venture capital experienced its first major fundraising year, as the industry raised approximately $750 million.
The company has been an early investor in more than 300 IT (information technology) and biotech firms, over the past thirty five years, including: Amazon.com, America Online, Brio Technology, Compaq, GenScript, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Genentech, Google, Intuit, Lotus Development, LSI Logic, Macromedia, Netscape, Quantum, Segway, Sun Microsystems, and Tandem. Some current private investments include EEstor, Vertica, Chegg, Lending Club, shopkick, Ocarina Networks, Plum District, Cooliris, Clean Power Finance, OptiMedica, and FindTheBest.
KPCB paid $4 million in 1994 for around 25% of Netscape and profited from Netscape's IPO and subsequent $4 billion acquisition by America Online. An investment of $8 million in Cerent was worth around $2 billion when the optical equipment maker was sold to Cisco Systems for $6.9 billion in August 1999.
In 1999, Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital paid $25 million for 20% of Google—as of November 2008 Google's market capitalization stood at about $108 billion. As initial investors in Amazon.com KPCB scored returns of over 55,000% at the December 1999 peak of that stock, although the value of that investment was subsequently reduced by downturns in Amazon.com's stock price.
Also in 1999, Kleiner Perkins and Venrock invested in Geron Corporation, founded by Michael D. West,now CEO of BioTime, which went on to initiate the first embryonic stem cell-based clinical trial.
In March 2008, KPCB announced the iFund, a $100 million venture capital investment initiative that funds innovators developing applications, services, and components for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch platform, including shopkick, Path, Booyah and Shazam. KPCB's other mobile initiatives also include an investment in InMobi, a mobile ad network based out of Bangalore. KPCB doubled their iFund investment in April 2009 to $200 million.
In April 2008, it was reported that KPCB was raising funds for a $400 million growth-stage clean-technology fund. In October 2010, KPCB has launched a new $250 mn fund called sFund to fund the startups in the social space with Facebook, Zynga and Amazon.com as its co-investors.
In 2008 KPCB announced its plan to put as many as 50,000 electric cars on U.S. roads beginning late next year and could make the famed tech region south of San Francisco a center for these vehicles. The venture will be called Think North America and be based in Menlo Park, California.
KPCB XIII fund and Green Growth Fund
In May 2008, KPCB announced the formation of its most recent fund, KPCB XIII. KPCB XIII plans to invest $700 million over roughly a three-year period, backing entrepreneurs and innovation in greentech, information technology, and life sciences ventures. The firm also announced the opening of its $500 million Green Growth Fund.
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- KPCB Portfolio Companies
- KPCB Information Technology
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- Silver Spring Networks Obtains $75 Million; John Doerr and Al Gore Join Advisory Board
- $200 Million "ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid" Competition Announced by GE, Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and RockPort Capital
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- KPCB Offices
- "The Depressing Gender Gap at the Nation's Top 71 Venture Capital Firms". Betabeat. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
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- Tandem Computers FundingUniverse.com
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- Cressey, Daniel (12 October 2010). "Geron treats first patient with embryonic stem cell-based therapy". Nature news blog.
- KPCB doubles iFund investment to $200MM
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- "The Kleiner Perkins sFund: A $250 mn bet that social is just getting started". Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Das, Anupreeta (22 April 2008). "Silicon Valley gets behind electric cars". The New York Times.
- "Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Forms $700 Million KPCB XIII Fund" (Press release). 1 May 2008.