Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Is Kleiner Turning away from Cleantech? Speculation Abounds"

But what about KPCB partner Al Gore?
From PE Hub:
I normally don’t blog about other blogs, but today I break the rule to weigh in on speculation that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is turning away from cleantech.

This shift in focus is suggested in a Fortune piece claiming that the storied VC firm is refocusing on its so-called sweet spot: the Internet. The observation was repeated in a post on GigaOm, where we are reminded of Partner John Doerr’s statement about a year ago:
“If we’d been able to foresee the crash of the market, we wouldn’t probably have launched a green initiative because these ventures really need capital,” Doerr said, according to GigaOm.
So what’s up? Kleiner Perkins did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Fortune piece reminds us of KP’s launch of its recent $250 million sFund for social startups and how digital gaming company Zynga could be a runaway financial success. (It already did well with mobile gaming company Ngmoco, which sold to Japan’s DeNA Co. for up to $400 million.)

So far, Kleiner has had just two cleantech exits, neither of which was a major success: Amyris Inc. and Ausra.
Amyris, a biofuels maker, managed to go public in September for $16 per share, and its stock is now trading around $20. But that hasn’t done much for Kleiner, which owns 4.2 million shares currently valued at about $84 million. It isn’t clear if it KP will see a return on its investment, since Amyris raised more than $230 million in venture capital before its IPO....MORE