Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

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Coordinates: 37°25′25″N 122°12′37″W / 37.4237°N 122.2103°W / 37.4237; -122.2103

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Industry Venture capital
Founded 1972; 45 years ago (1972)
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
Website www.kpcb.com

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) is an American 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[1] and by Dealbook as "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers."[2]

KPCB specializes in investments in incubation and early stage companies.[3] 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,[4] Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Nebula,[5] Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign, WebMD and Zynga. KPCB focuses its global investments in three practice areas – digital, clean tech and life sciences.[6]


KPCB was formed in 1972. It has traditionally focused on early-stage investments, but also does later-stage investments.[7][8]

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[9][10] as part of a collaboration between KPCB and Gore's firm Generation Investment Management (GIM) to promote green technology, business and policy solutions.[11]

In addition to Menlo Park headquarters the company has offices in Shanghai, China and in Beijing, China.[12]


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.[citation needed] 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.

Kleiner invested in Tandem Computers, an early manufacturer of computer systems, founded in 1975 by Jimmy Treybig.[13]

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,[14] which KPCB has vigorously denied.[15] On March 27, 2015, after a month-long trial, the jury found against Ellen Pao on all claims.[16]In June 2015, Ellen Pao filed an appeal.[17] In September 2015, Ellen Pao announced she would no longer appeal the jury verdict.[18]


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, Tandem,[19] and The 3DO Company.[20] Some current private investments include Apperian, Chegg, Clean Power Finance, Codecademy, Cooliris, Coursera, Datameer,[21] EEstor, FindTheBest, Lending Club, LendUp, Newsela,[22] Ocarina Networks, One Kings Lane, OptiMedica, Shape Security, SimpliVity, Leanplum, 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.[23] 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,[4] now CEO of BioTime,[24] which went on to initiate the first embryonic stem cell-based clinical trial.[25]

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.[26]

In April 2008, it was reported that KPCB was raising funds for a $400 million growth-stage clean-technology fund.[27] 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.[28]

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.[29] It made its first investment in a bitcoin related company in 2015, leading a $12.5 million investment round for Align Commerce.[30][31]

Notable partners[edit]


  1. ^ Austin, Scott (2010-01-22). "One Of These Venture Firms Is Not Like The Other". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ "Gore's Dual Role in Spotlight: Advocate and Investor". The New York Times (Dealbook). 3 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Capital Markets: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "SEC Schedule 13G, filed Feb. 17, 1999". 
  5. ^ Morgan, Timothy Prickett. "NASA's former CTO launches Nebula cloud controller". The Register. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  6. ^ KPCB Portfolio Companies
  7. ^ KPCB Information Technology
  8. ^ Richtel, Matt (2008-05-01). "Kleiner Perkins Goes Late on Energy". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "Greentech Initiative". Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  10. ^ Coile, Zachary (13 November 2007). "Gore joins Valley's Kleiner Perkins to push green business". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ KPCB Offices
  13. ^ Tandem Computers FundingUniverse.com
  14. ^ McBride, Sarah (22 May 2012). "Kleiner partner sues firm for discrimination". Reuters. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Kleiner Perkins 'Vigorously Denies' Ellen Pao's Gender Discrimination Claims". Betabeat. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Elder, Jeff (28 March 2015). "Jury Backs Kleiner Perkins in Sex-Bias Case". The Wall Street Journal. 
  17. ^ Kocalitcheva, Kia (2015-08-11). "Ellen Pao appeals order to pay Kleiner Perkins trial costs". Fortune. Retrieved 2015-10-01. 
  18. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/ellen-pao-wont-appeal-trial-loss-in-case-against-kleiner-perkins-caufield-byers-1441906196
  19. ^ "Executive Joins Kleiner Perkins", The New York Times, 14 March 1984.
  20. ^ "75 Power Players". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 66–67. November 1995. Kleiner, Perkins, Coffhil & Beyers [sic] were one of the initial investors in The 3DO Company, and as a result, they made a lot of money. 
  21. ^ "Analytics Company Datameer Raises $6 Million From Redpoint Ventures and Kleiner Perkins". 
  22. ^ "Newsela Profile". Built in NYC. Retrieved 15 March 2017.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  23. ^ Corcoran, Elizabeth (October 13, 1996). "Venture Capital Firm Kleiner Perkins Has Long Nurtured Internet Enterprises". Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  24. ^ "BioTime Seeks Geron Stem Cell Assets". TheScientist. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  25. ^ Cressey, Daniel (12 October 2010). "Geron treats first patient with embryonic stem cell-based therapy". Nature news blog. 
  26. ^ KPCB doubles iFund investment to $200MM
  27. ^ Haislip, Alexander; Dan Primack (24 April 2008). "Kleiner Perkins raising green growth fund". Private Equity Week. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  28. ^ "The Kleiner Perkins sFund: A $250 mn bet that social is just getting started". Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  29. ^ http://www.statesman.com/news/business/silicon-valleys-kleiner-perkins-invests-in-austin-/nh4X8/
  30. ^ Chernova, Yuliya (17 November 2015). "Kleiner Perkins Makes First Bitcoin Related Deal With Aligh Commerce". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 November 2015. 
  31. ^ Shin, Laura (17 November 2015). "Kleiner Perkins Makes First Bitcon Startup Investment With B2B Payments Provider Align Commerce". Forbes. Retrieved 18 November 2015. 

External links[edit]