|Founders||Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank J. Caufield, Brook Byers|
|Headquarters||Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California, United States|
Venture capital funds
Kleiner Perkins, formerly Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), is an American venture capital firm headquartered on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. Specializing in investments in incubation, early stage and growth companies, since its founding in 1972 the firm has backed entrepreneurs in over 850 ventures, including America Online, Amazon.com, Compaq, Electronic Arts, JD.com, Square, Genentech, Google, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Nest, Synack, Snap, AppDynamics, and Twitter. Kleiner Perkins focuses its global investments in practice areas including technology and life sciences. The Wall Street Journal and other publications have called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms and Dealbook named it "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers." In addition to its Menlo Park headquarters, the company has offices in San Francisco and Shanghai, China.
|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)|
The firm was formed in 1972 as Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB) on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California, with a focus on seed, early-stage, and growth investments. The firm is named after its four founding partners: Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank J. Caufield, and Brook Byers. Kleiner was a founder of Fairchild Semiconductor, and Perkins was an early Hewlett-Packard executive. Byers joined in 1977.
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, the firm was still active in this period. By 1996, Kleiner Perkins had handed out $880 million in funding to around 260 companies. Beyond the original founders, notable members of the firm have included individuals such as John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, and Bill Joy. Colin Powell joined as a “strategic” partner in 2005, while Al Gore joined as partner in 2007 as part of a collaboration between Kleiner Perkins and Generation Investment Management. Mary Meeker joined the firm in 2010, and that year Kleiner Perkins expanded its practice to invest in growth stage companies.
The New York Times has described Kleiner Perkins as “perhaps Silicon Valley’s most famous venture firm.” The firm was described by Dealbook in 2009 as "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers,” and The Wall Street Journal in 2010 called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms. By 2017 it had raised around $10 billion in 20 venture capital funds and four growth funds.
In May 2012, Ellen Pao, an employee, sued the firm for gender discrimination in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, which the firm has vigorously denied. On March 27, 2015, after a month-long trial, the jury found against Pao on all claims. In June 2015, Pao filed an appeal. In September 2015, Pao announced she would no longer appeal the jury verdict.
In March 2008 Kleiner Perkins announced the iFund, a $100 million venture capital investment initiative that funds concepts related to the iPhone, and doubled that investment a year later. It was reported in April 2008 that Kleiner Perkins was raising funds for a $500 million growth-stage clean-technology fund. In October 2010, the firm launched a $250 million fund called sFund to focus on social startups, with co-investors such as Facebook, Zynga and Amazon.com. In early 2016, the firm raised $1.4 billion in KP XVII and DGF III.
The firm has been an early investor in more than 850 technology and life sciences firms since its founding, including Amazon.com, America Online, Brio Technology, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Genentech, Geron, Google, Intuit, Lotus Development, LSI Logic, Macromedia, Netscape, Quantum, Segway, Sun Microsystems, Synack, Tandem Computers, Nebula, and The 3DO Company. Some current private investments include Newsela, Align Commerce, AlienVault, Ionic Security, AirBnB, DJI, Armo, Spotify, Handshake, Ring, Clean Power Finance, Coursera, Datameer, Shape Security, SimpliVity, Leanplum, and Uber.
Kleiner Perkins paid $5 million in 1994 for around 25% of Netscape and profited from Netscape's IPO. Its 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 $24 million for 20% of Google—as of February 2018 Google's market capitalization stood at about $700 billion. As initial investors in Amazon.com Kleiner Perkins scored returns in excess of $1 billion on an $8 million investment. Recent investments include AppDynamics, ArcSight, Autotrader.com, Foundation Medicine, Flexus, Lifelock, JD.com, MyFitnessPal, FireEye (Mandiant), Nest, Snap, Square, Tesoara, and Twitter. Kleiner Perkins funds Proterra Inc., an automotive company.
The firm currently has nine general partners managing the company:
- John Doerr (chairman)
- Eric Feng
- Ilya Fushman
- Mamoon Hamid
- Wen Hsieh
- Noah Knauf
- Mary Meeker
- Mood Rowghani
- Ted Schlein
- Beth Seidenberg
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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.
- "SEC Schedule 13G, filed Feb. 17, 1999".
- Lev-Ram, Michal (April 24, 2014). "For crowdsourced security startup, a carrot and a hack". Fortune. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
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- Cisco buys Cerent, Monterey Networks - CNET (August 1999)
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