Kleiner Perkins, the respected Silicon Valley venture capital firm, said it has finished raising its thirteenth fund (called KPCB XIII) for early-stage companies, totaling $700 million.
Separately, the firm announced the creation of a $500 million “Green Growth Fund,” which will be invested in somewhat more mature, green-focused companies. It said a new partner, Ben Kortlang, will join existing partner John Denniston to co-manage that effort.
Kortlang (pictured left) previously co-directed alternative energy investments at Goldman Sachs. Kleiner has backed a string of major successful Silicon Valley companies over the years, from Genentech to Amazon and Google. More recently, however, it has poured more resources into non-traditional areas, including “green technologies,” designed to support companies what will help solve the world’s climate crisis.
In its statement, Kleiner said this fund is designed to help green products get to market. It is called “growth” because companies will have already built their product and will have entered their “growth phase.” Kleiner expects to invest between $10 million to $50 million into such companies. A lot of these companies need more to finance plants and distribution infrastructure through debt and project financing, too, making the investment structure different from typical IT investing, the firm said. Indeed, while Google took $25 million in capital to get started, a company like Bloom Energy, another Kleiner investment has already absorbed $250 million and hasn’t gotten close to going public.
The main fund, KPCB XIII, will be invested over roughly a three-year period, and will back companies in the green tech area, but also the more traditional information technology and life sciences areas, the firm said.
Kleiner also said it was a deepening partnership with a London investment group, Generation Investment Management, which invests in clean-tech companies. Al Gore, which Kleiner signed up last year to help invest in clean tech companies, is chairman of Generation Investment Management. Kleiner and Generation said they’d work together to review companies before investing, and share other resources, including Kleiner locating its European investment effort in Generation’s London office.
[Update: In an interview, Kleiner's Denniston said Generation is a limited partner in the Kleiner Growth Fund, but wouldn't provide the specific amount, saying only that it is "meaningful." Moreover, while Kleiner's fund is not a limited parter in Generation, some of Kleiner's partners have invested their personal money into Generation.] News of Kleiner’s thirteenth fund and the new Kleiner green growth fund emerged over the past week. Here’s more from the announcement:
The greentech coverage of KPCB XIII and the Green Growth Fund will extend the firms’ existing collaboration with London-based Generation Investment Management. Through their alliance, the firms actively work together to find, fund and accelerate green solutions with the greatest potential to help solve the climate crisis…
…KPCB XIII partners include KPCB XII partners Brook Byers, John Denniston, John Doerr, Juliet Flint, Bill Joy, Randy Komisar, Joe Lacob, Ray Lane, Aileen Lee, Dana Mead, Jr., Matt Murphy, Ajit Nazre, PhD, Ellen Pao, Ted Schlein, Beth Seidenberg, M.D., Risa Stack, PhD, and Trae Vassallo. New partners added since the KPCB XII fund closed include former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, Electronic Arts co-founder Bing Gordon, Chi-Hua Chien, Amol Deshpande, Wen Hsieh and Jordan Ormont.
…Ray Lane added, “We have come to a turning point and now, more than ever before, the world is ready and willing to tackle our energy and environmental problems, as individuals, corporations and governments. The entrepreneurs we support are the starting point to address these challenges, and we’re proud to help them transform their innovations into marketable solutions for our global climate crisis.”
…Green businesses are already booming in the United States and overseas, as environmental concerns and skyrocketing fossil fuel prices stimulate demand for renewable energy alternatives. At the same time, recent breakthroughs in a wide variety of scientific disciplines – biology, chemistry, and physics – are making revolutionary green technologies possible and affordable.