Mikey Tom May 25, 2016
News recently broke that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) is in the process of raising $1.3 billion across two new funds. If the firm is able to secure full capital commitments, it would join the ranks of other venerable VCs, such as Accel, Founders Fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners, that have raised $1 billion+ for new vehicles this year, a trend we’ve previously reported on.
Although KPCB almost inarguably ranks among the top VCs in the industry, the news may come as somewhat of a surprise considering the firm has seen more than its fair share of turmoil in the past few years. Perhaps the most well-known incident was the Ellen Pao lawsuit filed in 2012, which brought along bad press and accusations of gender discrimination. Prior to that, the firm had taken a rather bullish stance on cleantech, investing in deals within the space totaling $883 million in value in 2011. What once appeared to be an area ripe for innovation turned largely into a disappointment. KPCB has also seen multiple team members leave for new VC firms. Aileen Lee, who served as a partner for over 12 years, launched Cowboy Ventures in July 2012; Chi-Hua Chien left to found Goodwater Capital in 2014 after spending almost seven years at KPCB as a general partner; and Megan Quinn recently joined Spark Capital following three years as an investment partner.
Despite the struggles, KPCB continues to attract LP interest. Often noted for backing both Google and Amazon early, KPCB has seen success recently as well. Since the beginning of 2014 the firm has exited 63 different portfolio companies, including banner investments such as Square (IPO’d last year), Nest (acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014) and Lending Club (IPO’d in 2014).