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Mary Meeker, Mamoon Hamid and John Doerr. Photos by Bloomberg (Meeker and Doerr), Kleiner Perkins (Hamid)

Mixed Returns for Kleiner Perkins: Weak Venture Funds, Strong ‘Growth’

By  |  Oct. 28, 2019 7:00 AM PDT
Photo: Mary Meeker, Mamoon Hamid and John Doerr. Photos by Bloomberg (Meeker and Doerr), Kleiner Perkins (Hamid)

Kleiner Perkins—the venture firm once celebrated for early stakes in Amazon, Google and Genentech—has a long way to go in its quest to claw its way back to the top of Silicon Valley investors. But recent, previously unreported data on the performance of its funds from the past nine years show there are also some bright spots for the firm.

The firm’s Fund XIV, a $650 million pot of money raised in 2010, had a net internal rate of return—which shows how much a fund returned to investors on average annually, after a firm’s fees are deducted—of 30.6% through September 30 of this year, likely placing it in the top tier of venture funds for that year for performance. The numbers, which were obtained by The Information from a person close to Kleiner Perkins, also shed new light on the strong  performance of the firm’s “growth funds,” which made late stage investments in companies like Peloton, Slack and Pinterest.

Unfortunately for Kleiner, credit for the success of the growth funds goes mainly to an investing team led by former tech analyst Mary Meeker, most of whom decamped from Kleiner last year to form an independent firm called Bond. Meanwhile, Kleiner, which has returned to its roots by backing early stage tech companies, continues to see subpar returns for three other funds focused on those types of startup investments, despite improvements over the past year.

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