Jasper, an Early Generative AI Winner, Cuts Internal Valuation as Growth SlowsRead more

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.

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Photos by Getty.
Designer Jony Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman Discuss AI Hardware Project
Jony Ive, the renowned designer of the iPhone, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have been discussing building a new AI hardware device, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
From left to right: Blair Effron, Robert Pruzan and David Handler. Photos by Getty; Tidal Partners.
Exclusive Finance
Disputes, Employee Misconduct Rattle Centerview’s Silicon Valley Dreams
The San Francisco Bay Area–based bankers at Centerview Partners, the investment bank that advised Silicon Valley Bank’s owner and Credit Suisse through recent turmoil, got two doses of bad news last week.
Art by Clark Miller
Exclusive startups entertainment
MasterClass Takes a Crash Course in Frugality
MasterClass had a problem with the shoot featuring its latest star instructor, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photos via Getty
Exclusive microsoft ai
How Microsoft is Trying to Lessen Its Addiction to OpenAI as AI Costs Soar
Microsoft’s push to put artificial intelligence into its software has hinged almost entirely on OpenAI , the startup Microsoft funded in exchange for the right to use its cutting-edge technology.
From left: Paul Graham, Garry Tan and Michael Seibel. Photos by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive startups ai
Y Combinator’s Garry Tan Goes to the Mat
Garry Tan was in his happy place. Surrounded by food trucks and techies basking in San Francisco’s September sun, the CEO of Y Combinator snapped selfies with entrepreneurs as he meandered through a crowd of 2,700 attendees at the startup accelerator’s annual alumni event.
The X (formerly Twitter) office in San Francisco on July 29. Photo by Bloomberg via Getty.
Musk’s X Cuts Half of Election Integrity Team After Promising to Expand It
Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter , is cutting around half of the global team devoted to limiting disinformation and election fraud on the platform, including the head of the group, according to three people familiar with the situation.