Business Profiles FS/Kleiner Perkins
Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers
How it Started
Kleiner Perkins was founded in 1972 by Tom Perkins and Eugene Kleiner, both of whom were mechanical engineers involved in the electronics industry (source)(source). Their expertise in electronics is likely what placed the two of them in Silicon Valley for the founding of the company, which has become one of the largest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley; Kleiner Perkins has made an estimated 551 Investments in 306 Companies (as of 9/8/14) (source).
Kleiner Perkins has the best track record of venture capitalists, in that the companies they have funded have gone on to become standouts in their field. Startups in which they have invested include AOL, Amazon.com, Compaq, and Google (source). The firm's historically choosy funding patterns lend a great amount of prestige to the company's investments, and in essence, creates press for itself. Kleiner Perkins is one of the highest-respected venture capitalist firms in Silicon Valley. Today, the firm focuses its investments in digital, green tech, and life sciences. The firm has ridden through massive technological change in its 42 years, and has adapted enough not to be left in the dust on new products and services. One example of this is iFund, a $200 million initiative solely for developers of Apple apps (source).
Kleiner Perkins hires around 11-50 employees at its California base, but it also has offices in Shangai and Beijing (source). They have a specific board in place for each of their areas of interest; a digital team, Greentech team, and life sciences team. They also have in place an operating team, which offers business support to the firm's portfolio companies. This board can assist startups with marketing, recruiting for their respective boards and executive teams, and other operational tasks. In addition, Kleiner Perkins has established a team of Strategic Advisors; persons of note from different career backgrounds who have information of value to offer the firm's portfolio companies. In all, Kleiner Perkins values the relationship it forms with its investment businesses, and looks to support these businesses beyond monetary investment to encourage their future success (source).