Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is shutting down its seed-stage investment arm two years after it launched, according to Bloomberg.
The VC powerhouse introduced the program, branded as Edge, to step up its early-stage investing. But the move failed to make much of a difference, at least in terms of deal count. KPCB’s participation in seed-stage deals remained
relatively flat before and after 2015, when the program was launched, per the PitchBook Platform.
Here’s a closer look at KPCB’s participation in seed-stage deals since the beginning of 2012:
Bloomberg's report indicates KPCB made 13 investments through Edge over its two-year run, which would suggest a large percentage of the firm's recent seed-stage activity was conducted via the program.
The now-defunct arm consisted of a team of investors who spent two days a week focusing on seed-stage startups. Financing for the selected companies didn’t come from a separate investment vehicle, however. Instead, checks were written from KPCB's existing VC funds. The three partners behind the program—Anjney Midha, Roneil Rumburg and Ruby Lee—have all reportedly left the Bay Area-based firm in the past few weeks. Midha's LinkedIn now lists him as the CEO at Ubiquity6, a computer vision and AR company.
KPCB reportedly has no plans for new hires to replace the three, instead relying on its current partners to focus more on seed-stage investing, with Eric Feng and Muzzammil Zaveri leading the way. But the departures highlight a potentially troubling trend: a string of departures from a firm that was one of the first to make it big in Silicon Valley.
KPCB general partner Michael Abbott (right) made his own news Tuesday by announcing that he’s leaving the firm and stepping away from VC investing in general. Abbott’s departure is reportedly unrelated to the shutdown of Edge, though he's known as a champion of the firm’s early-stage investment activity. In a blog post, Abbott wrote that a “desire to discover and invest in the next new thing became eclipsed by my desire to get my hands dirty again and build the next new thing.”
Arielle Zuckerberg, who joined KPCB as a partner in 2015, departed the firm last week.