On May 1st, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, made two announcements on expansions to the firm’s greentech initiatives.
KPCB’s first announcement was the launch of its Green Growth Fund – a new $500 million investment fund designed to help accelerate mass market adoption of solutions to the global climate crisis. The Green Growth Fund will be co-managed by KPCB Partners John Denniston and Ben Kortlang and extends the firm’s current investment efforts, which have previously focused primarily on startups, to support companies that have moved beyond their initial stage. KPCB Partner John Doerr said:
We urgently need to advance our greentech industry at a speed and scale commensurate with the challenges we face. We believe green technologies are both the key to solving our energy crisis and a tremendous business opportunity.
One of the organizations providing a significant commitment of funding to the Green Growth Fund is Generation Investment Management (Generation), whose chairman Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Laureate, joined KPCB as Partner in 2007. KPCB and Generation previously announced an alliance on November 12, 2007 to work together to find, fund and accelerate green solutions with the greatest potential to help solve the climate crisis. Generation co-founder and Managing Partner David Blood said:
There is a significant gap between the capital needed and the capital currently deployed to create enduring solutions to the climate crisis. We’re eager to deepen our collaboration with KPCB by working closely with the Green Growth Fund to identify growth-stage investment opportunities.
KPCB’s second announcement was the formation of KPCB XIII, a $700 million fund that will include greentech in the scope of its investments (the other areas KPCB XIII will invest in are information technology and life sciences). KPCB XIII will primarily support early-stage entrepreneurs, while the Green Growth Fund will support companies in their growth phase.
It is expected that KPCB partners working on greentech investments in both funds will work together and that this will provide benefits to KPCB portfolio companies in both funds. According to Kortlang:
The venture and growth partners will work together as one team, in one office. There’ll be many synergies: partners dealing with the more mature companies can contribute expertise with market dynamics, financing and regulation, while those involved with startups can offer cutting-edge technology insight and policy leadership. The common denominator in both funds will be exceptional company-building skills.
KPCB has began investing in the greentech sector and advocating policy innovations to address the climate crisis since 2002. The firm has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to more than 30 entrepreneurs in areas including power generation, fuel, transportation, energy storage, and energy efficiency. KPCB’s current greentech portfolio includes:
- Altarock Energy Inc
- Altra Biofuels
- Amyris Biotechnologies
- Bloom Energy
- Fisker Automotive
- GreatPoint Energy
- Lilliputian Systems
- Mascoma Corporation
The following video is a presentation by KPCB Partner John Doerr from March 2007.
For more information:
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – Home page
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – Greentech Initiative
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Launches Green Growth Fund (May 1, 2008)
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Forms $700 Million KPCB XIII Fund (May 1, 2008)
- Al Gore Becomes Partner at VC Firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Part of Broader Collaboration to Accelerate Green Solutions (Green VC)