Our History

The Early Years

In the 1970s, venture capital as we know it today was an untested source of capital to entrepreneurs and an unproven vehicle for returns to institutional investors. Tom Perkins and Eugene Kleiner had a vision of building a venture fund that would invest capital and resources in the best entrepreneurs with bold ideas. Five decades later, it is a model of venture investing that is still flourishing at Kleiner Perkins. Kleiner Perkins and KPCB I.

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Tandem Computers Logo

Momentum Grows

Eight years after launch, Kleiner Perkins set out to raise a third fund and broaden the team to invest in semiconductors, databases and computing. The venture community was beginning to grow teaming together in a syndicated style of investing. As the Kleiner Perkins investment portfolio grew, so did our network of relationships—and we were able to expand the level of support we could provide to entrepreneurs. KPCB II, KPCB III and KPCB IV.

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LSI Logo
Quantum Logo
Sun Microsystems Logo
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Xilinx Logo

Desktop Computing evolves and Biotech Booms

We continued to make notable investments in technology as desktop computing evolved to provide powerful applications, online communication for the masses and remote access with investments in Intuit, AOL, Citrix and Visio. The success of Genentech in the early 1980s also established the foundation for the biotech sector to flourish and Kleiner Perkins, with strong ties to Stanford University and UCSF medical centers, expanded its investment footprint in the sector. KPCB V, KPCB VI and KPCB VII.

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Ascend Communications Logo
Citrix Logo
Genetrix Logo
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IDEC Pharmaceuticals Logo
Intuit Logo
Millennium Pharmaceuticals Logo
Nanogen Logo
Pharmacyclics Logo
Visio Logo

Rise of the Internet

The mid-1990s brought a marked shift in the venture community—and society. The drivers of the internet era had long been in place with DARPA and ARPANET and TCP/IP global protocols. But it was the introduction of browser technology that catapulted widespread use and investor interest in the internet. A new world of innovation, business, communications and exchange opened up. KPCB VIII.

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Dot-com Boom & Bust

The late nineties to 2000 was a time like no other—deal flow and ideas abounded, driven by the enabling power of the internet. The IPO market was robust and 25 KP VIII companies would go public in this period. At the end of the decade, pervasive challenges began to unfold in the dot-com world with too many ventures operating with tenuous business models. By late 2000, the value of publicly traded internet companies was down dramatically and it would be well into the first decade of the new century before the environment stabilized. For Kleiner Perkins, the priority was to work with portfolio companies to regroup and mitigate risk—and find investment opportunities that still provided promise. KPCB IX and KPCB X.

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Alphabet (Google) Logo
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In Pursuit of Cleantech

In the 2000s, the firm focused attention on investing in cleantech ventures, believing that climate change would drive the need for new energy sources and more sustainable technology. But venture capital ultimately proved to be a mismatch for the infrastructure investment needs and long-term development cycles of cleantech although investments in sustainability companies proved more successful. Kleiner Perkins continued to invest in technology and life sciences. KPCB XI, KPCB XII, KPCB XIII and GGF 1.

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Rpx Corporation Logo
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Silver Spring Networks, Inc. Logo
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Digital revolution

The rapid growth of Facebook, increase in mobile computing and development of the app economy fueled another wave of technology and new investment opportunities around the world. In 2010, Kleiner Perkins launched its first growth fund and made a number of later-stage investments in a new generation of tech companies. We also increased investments in cybersecurity and continued to invest in promising early stage technology and life science companies. KPCB XIV, KPCB XV, KPCB XVI and DGF 1 and 2.

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Preparing for the future

In the last few years the venture landscape has been transformed by an abundance of capital, higher valuations, an ever increasing number of start-ups and a growing number of investors. In this environment, focus became critically important and in 2017 Kleiner Perkins initiated a restructuring process to return to its roots as a venture boutique focused on early stage companies. In early 2019, we successfully raised KP 18. With a new investing team of dedicated practitioners offering diverse and complementary backgrounds that span technology, operating, and investing, we will chart the next chapter of our history investing in brilliant entrepreneurs and bold ideas destined to make history. KPCB XVII, KPCB XVIII and DGF 3.

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