Kleiner Perkins

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Coordinates: 37°25′18″N 122°12′41″W / 37.421731°N 122.211275°W / 37.421731; -122.211275

Kleiner Perkins
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB)
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1972 (1972) in California
FoundersEugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank J. Caufield, Brook Byers
Venture capital funds

Kleiner Perkins, formerly Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), is an American venture capital firm which specializes in investing in incubation, early stage and growth companies. Since its founding in 1972, the firm has backed entrepreneurs[1] in over 850 ventures,[2] including America Online,[3] Amazon.com,[4], Tandem Computers, Compaq,[5] Electronic Arts,[3] JD.com, Square,[6] Genentech,[5] Google, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Nest, Synack, Snap, AppDynamics, and Twitter.[6] Kleiner Perkins focuses its global investments in practice areas including technology and life sciences.[6] By 2017 it had raised around $10 billion in 20 venture capital funds and four growth funds.[2]

Kleiner Perkins is headquartered in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley,[7] with offices in San Francisco[7] and Shanghai, China.[8]

The New York Times described Kleiner Perkins as “perhaps Silicon Valley’s most famous venture firm.”[9] The Wall Street Journal called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms[10] and Dealbook named it "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers."[11]


The firm was formed in 1972 as Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB)[12][13] in Menlo Park, California,[14] with a focus on seed, early-stage, and growth companies.[12][13] The firm is named after its four founding partners: Eugene Kleiner, Tom Perkins, Frank J. Caufield, and Brook Byers.[14] Kleiner was a founder of Fairchild Semiconductor, and Perkins was an early Hewlett-Packard executive.[14][15] Byers joined in 1977.[16]

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.[citation needed] By 1996, Kleiner Perkins had funded around 260 companies a total of $880 million.[16] Beyond the original founders, notable members of the firm have included individuals such as[17] John Doerr,[18] Vinod Khosla,[19] and Bill Joy.[20] Colin Powell joined as a “strategic” partner in 2005,[9] while Al Gore joined as partner[11] in 2007[19][21] as part of a collaboration between Kleiner Perkins and Generation Investment Management.[22] Mary Meeker joined the firm in 2010,[17] and that year Kleiner Perkins expanded its practice to invest in growth stage companies.[23]

The New York Times has described Kleiner Perkins as “perhaps Silicon Valley’s most famous venture firm.”[9] The firm was described by Dealbook in 2009 as "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers,”[11] and The Wall Street Journal in 2010 called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms.[10] By 2017 it had raised around $10 billion in 20 venture capital funds and four growth funds.[2]

In May 2012, Ellen Pao, an employee, sued the firm for gender discrimination in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins,[24] which the firm has vigorously denied.[25] On March 27, 2015, after a month-long trial, the jury found against Pao on all claims.[26] In June 2015, Pao filed an appeal.[27] In September 2015, Pao announced she would no longer appeal the jury verdict.[28]

In September 2018, Kleiner Perkins announced it was spinning out its digital growth team into a new independent firm.[29][30]

In January 2019, Kleiner Perkins announced their 18th fund.


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.[31] It was reported in April 2008 that Kleiner Perkins was raising funds for a $500 million growth-stage clean-technology fund.[13][32] 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.[33] In early 2016, the firm raised $1.4 billion in KP XVII and DGF III.[34]

The firm has been an early investor in more than 850[2] technology and life sciences firms since its founding, including Amazon.com,[4] America Online,[3] Brio Technology,[35] Compaq,[5] Electronic Arts,[3] Flextronics,[35] Genentech,[5] Geron,[36] Google,[4] Intuit,[33] Lotus Development, LSI Logic, Macromedia,[35] Netscape,[16] Quantum, Segway, Shyp,[37]Sun Microsystems,[35] Synack,[38] Tandem Computers,[15] Nebula,[39] and The 3DO Company.[35] Some current private investments include Newsela,[40] Align Commerce,[41][42] AlienVault, Ionic Security, AirBnB, DJI, Armo, Spotify, Handshake, Ring, Clean Power Finance, Coursera,[6] Datameer,[43] Shape Security,[44] SimpliVity, Leanplum, and Uber.[6]

Kleiner Perkins paid $5 million in 1994 for around 25% of Netscape and profited from Netscape's IPO.[16] Its investment of $8 million in Cerent was worth around $2 billion[citation needed] when the optical equipment maker was sold to Cisco Systems[14] for $6.9 billion in August 1999.[45] In 1999, Kleiner Perkins[4] and Sequoia Capital paid $24 million for 20% of Google—as of February 2018 Google's market capitalization stood at about $700 billion.[citation needed] As initial investors in Amazon.com Kleiner Perkins scored returns[4] in excess of $1 billion[citation needed] on an $8 million investment.[4] Recent investments include AppDynamics, ArcSight, Autotrader.com, Foundation Medicine, Flexus, Lifelock, JD.com, MyFitnessPal, FireEye (Mandiant), Nest, Snap, Square, Plastiq Inc.[46], Tesoara, and Twitter.[6] Kleiner Perkins funds Proterra Inc., an automotive company.[47]

Key partners[edit]

The firm currently has nine general partners managing the company:[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Capital Markets: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Companies, Kleiner Perkins, 2017, retrieved 22 July 2017
  3. ^ a b c d Clifford, Stephanie (28 April 2008). "Venture Firm Hires Creative Chief at Electronic Arts". The New York Times. New York City, United States. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "How John Doerr, the old prospector, finally struck Google". CNET. 2004. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Executive Joins Kleiner Perkins". The New York Times. 14 March 1984. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "KPCB Portfolio Companies". Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b Kleiner Perkins Offices at KPCB.com Archived 22 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Headquarters, KPCB China, retrieved 2 May 2017
  9. ^ a b c Rivlin, Gary (13 July 2005). "Colin Powell Joins Venture Capital Firm". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  10. ^ a b Austin, Scott (22 January 2010). "One Of These Venture Firms Is Not Like The Other". The Wall Street Journal.
  11. ^ a b c "Gore's Dual Role in Spotlight: Advocate and Investor". The New York Times (Dealbook). 3 November 2009.
  12. ^ a b KPCB Information Technology Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b c Richtel, Matt (1 May 2008). "Kleiner Perkins Goes Late on Energy". The New York Times.
  14. ^ a b c d Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers History, International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 53. St. James Press, 2003, retrieved 17 May 2017
  15. ^ a b Tandem Computers - International Directory of Company Histories Vol. 6, St. James Press, 1992
  16. ^ a b c d Corcoran, Elizabeth (13 October 1996). "Venture Capital Firm Kleiner Perkins Has Long Nurtured Internet Enterprises". ‘’Washington Post’’. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Team". KPCB. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  18. ^ Kaplan, Jerry (1996) [first published by Houghton Mifflin Company 1994]. Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure. Bridgewater, NJ: Penguin Books. pp. 301–302. ISBN 0-7351-0141-8. ISBN 0-395-71133-9 (hc.); ISBN 0 14 025731 4 (pbk.). Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  19. ^ a b "Greentech Initiative". Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  20. ^ Primack, Dan (16 April 2012). "Exclusive: Big changes coming to Kleiner Perkins". Fortune. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  21. ^ Coile, Zachary (13 November 2007). "Gore joins Valley's Kleiner Perkins to push green business". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  22. ^ "Generation Investment Management and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Create International Alliance to Accelerate Global Climate Solutions". Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Generation Investment Management. 12 November 2007. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
  23. ^ McBride, Sarah (27 June 2014). "Kleiner Perkins files to raise $1.2 billion in new venture funds". Reuters. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  24. ^ McBride, Sarah (22 May 2012). "Kleiner partner sues firm for discrimination". Reuters. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  25. ^ Roy, Jessica (22 May 2012). "Kleiner Perkins 'Vigorously Denies' Ellen Pao's Gender Discrimination Claims". The Observer (Betabeat). Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  26. ^ Elder, Jeff (28 March 2015). "Jury Backs Kleiner Perkins in Sex-Bias Case". The Wall Street Journal.
  27. ^ Kocalitcheva, Kia (11 August 2015). "Ellen Pao appeals order to pay Kleiner Perkins trial costs". Fortune. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  28. ^ Elder, Jeff (10 September 2015). "Ellen Pao Won't Appeal Trial Loss in Case Against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers". Wall Street Journal. New York City. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  29. ^ https://www.axios.com/kleiner-perkins-is-splitting-up-1536933575-dccd3c28-2900-4ba4-ab23-b8e3e3f89a55.html
  30. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/technology/mary-meeker-kleiner-perkins.html
  31. ^ KPCB doubles iFund investment to $200MM Archived 10 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Haislip, Alexander; Dan Primack (24 April 2008). "Kleiner Perkins raising green growth fund". Private Equity Week. Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2008.
  33. ^ a b Arrington, Michael (21 October 2010). "The Kleiner Perkins sFund: A $250 mn bet that social is just getting started". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  34. ^ Levy, Ari (23 May 2016). "Kleiner Perkins raising close to $1.3 billion for two funds: Sources". CNBC. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  35. ^ a b c d e "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.
  36. ^ "SEC Schedule 13G, filed Feb. 17, 1999".
  37. ^ Rao, Leena (21 April 2015). "Fortune: Shyp, a mobile shipping app, raises $50 million". Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  38. ^ Lev-Ram, Michal (24 April 2014). "For crowdsourced security startup, a carrot and a hack". Fortune. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  39. ^ Morgan, Timothy Prickett (27 July 2011). "NASA's former CTO launches Nebula cloud controller". The Register. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  40. ^ "Newsela Profile". Built in NYC. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  41. ^ Chernova, Yuliya (17 November 2015). "Kleiner Perkins Makes First Bitcoin Related Deal With Aligh Commerce". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  42. ^ Shin, Laura (17 November 2015). "Kleiner Perkins Makes First Bitcon Startup Investment With B2B Payments Provider Align Commerce". Forbes. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  43. ^ Finley, Klint (25 September 2012). "Analytics Company Datameer Raises $6 Million From Redpoint Ventures and Kleiner Perkins". TechCrunch. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  44. ^ Primack, Dan (25 February 2014). "Deals of the day: Shape Security raises $40 million". Fortune.
  45. ^ Cisco buys Cerent, Monterey Networks - CNET (August 1999)
  46. ^ "Plastiq raises $27M at 2X+ value to let you pay for anything on credit". TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  47. ^ "The electric bus company Proterra is worth up to $840 million after raising new money". Recode. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  48. ^ "Team". KPCB. Retrieved 8 September 2017.

External links[edit]