Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
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|Headquarters||Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, California, United States
|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, Navigenics, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Geron Corporation, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Nebula, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign, WebMD and Zynga. KPCB focuses its global investments in three practice areas – digital, green tech and life sciences.
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.
KPCB has 12 female partners out of 49 partners total.
|History of private equity
and venture capital
|(Origins of modern private equity)|
|(Leveraged buyout boom)|
|(Leveraged buyout and the venture capital bubble)|
|(Dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)|
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.
In May 2012, Ellen Pao, an employee, sued the firm for gender discrimination in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, which KPCB has vigorously denied. On March 27, 2015, after a month-long trial, the jury found against Ellen Pao on all claims.
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, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Genentech, Google, Intuit, Lotus Development, LSI Logic, Macromedia, Netscape, Quantum, Segway, Sun Microsystems, and Tandem. Some current private investments include Apperian, Chegg, Clean Power Finance, Codecademy, Cooliris, Coursera, Datameer, EEstor, FindTheBest, Lending Club, Ocarina Networks, One Kings Lane, OptiMedica, Shape Security, Shopkick, Swiftype, and Vertica.
KPCB paid $5 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 February 2014 Google's market capitalization stood at about $400 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 November 2014, the firm invested in Austin-based Ambiq Micro, which is preparing to launch a new line of ultra-low power chips. KPCB is the lead investor in a $15 million round of capital.
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.
Ellen Pao Vs. Kleiner Perkins Caufield
In 2012, Ellen Pao, a former partner at KPCB, filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination against her in the course of her employment and eventual dismissal. Pao’s legal team was asking for approximately $16 million in lost income, in addition to $144 million in punitive damages. On March 27th, 2015, a California jury cleared KPCB on all claims brought by Pao.
Partial list of partners
- Juliet de Baubigny
- John Doerr (current)
- Al Gore (current)
- Raymond J. Lane (current)
- Aileen Lee
- Mary Meeker (current)
- Matt Murphy
- Ajit Nazre
- Ellen Pao
- Colin Powell (current)
- Ted Schlein (current) 
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- KPCB Portfolio Companies
- KPCB Information Technology
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- "Greentech Initiative". Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- Coile, Zachary (13 November 2007). "Gore joins Valley's Kleiner Perkins to push green business". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- "Generation Investment Management and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Create International Alliance to Accelerate Global Climate Solutions". Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Generation Investment Management. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- KPCB Offices
- "The Depressing Gender Gap at the Nation's Top 71 Venture Capital Firms". Betabeat. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- Tandem Computers FundingUniverse.com
- McBride, Sarah (22 May 2012). "Kleiner partner sues firm for discrimination". Reuters. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Kleiner Perkins ‘Vigorously Denies’ Ellen Pao’s Gender Discrimination Claims". Betabeat. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
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- Corcoran, Elizabeth (October 13, 1996). "Venture Capital Firm Kleiner Perkins Has Long Nurtured Internet Enterprises". Washington Post. Retrieved 9/2/2014. Check date values in:
- "BioTime Seeks Geron Stem Cell Assets". TheScientist. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Cressey, Daniel (12 October 2010). "Geron treats first patient with embryonic stem cell-based therapy". Nature news blog.
- KPCB doubles iFund investment to $200MM
- Haislip, Alexander; Dan Primack (24 April 2008). "Kleiner Perkins raising green growth fund". Private Equity Week. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- "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.