Mary Meeker, the ‘Queen of the Web,’ Is Leaving Kleiner Perkins to Begin Her Personal Fund


SAN FRANCISCO — The “Queen of the Web” will quickly have her personal funding agency.

Mary Meeker, a enterprise capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, plans to depart the agency later this yr to begin a brand new funding fund, Kleiner mentioned. The enterprise agency had employed Ms. Meeker, a former Wall Avenue analyst generally known as the Queen of the Web for her bullish protection of web shares, in 2010.

Her exit comes as Kleiner plans to spin off its apply of investing in additional mature and bigger non-public firms, generally known as late-stage investing, right into a separate entity. Three different traders at Kleiner — Temper Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny — will be a part of the brand new agency, which has not but settled on a reputation, Ms. Meeker mentioned in an interview.

Within the meantime, Ms. Meeker and her companions will proceed to take a position cash from Kleiner’s KPCB Digital Progress Fund III, a $1 billion automobile, the agency mentioned. Greater than half of the cash within the fund has been deployed into start-ups.

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The adjustments are the most recent shake-up on the storied Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency, which in its heyday invested early in Netscape, Solar Microsystems, Google and Amazon. However after the dot-com bust final decade, Kleiner missed the preliminary wave of social networking start-ups and centered on placing cash into applied sciences that will assist the setting. Lately, different enterprise corporations have risen and garnered extra buzz, whereas Kleiner has shrunk.

In 2016, Kleiner wound down an investing program referred to as Edge, which was designed to place cash into very younger start-ups. A number of enterprise capitalists have left the agency, with John Doerr, the agency’s most high-profile investor, stepping back from day-to-day responsibilities in 2016. Last year, Kleiner also spun off its clean-tech investment arm into a separate entity called G2VP.

Kleiner’s image also was battered by a gender discrimination suit brought by one of its former investors, Ellen Pao, and a 2015 trial on the matter. The firm won the suit, but Ms. Pao’s allegations and treatment in the trial received renewed attention last year with the publication of “Reset,” her tell-all book about her experience.

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Ms. Meeker’s departure means Kleiner will lose one of its best-known partners. Ms. Meeker, 58, is a high-profile investor and delivers an annual internet trends report on the future of the technology business that is often regarded as required reading. She has also led the firm’s investments in more mature start-ups and yielded several successful bets by putting money into Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Snap when the companies were further along.

With the new firm, Ms. Meeker said that she and her partners plan to invest in mature technology start-ups, with the potential to seek more deals outside of the United States. The split affords her and her partners more flexibility and focus, she added.

“We believe focus, focus, focus, nimbleness and specialization will help us,” she said.

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Ted Schlein, a longtime partner at Kleiner, will lead the firm’s investment practice, alongside Mamoon Hamid, who joined from another venture firm, Social Capital, last year. Other partners include Eric Feng and Wen Hsieh.

Mr. Schlein said changes to the investment landscape, including the influx of capital into private technology start-ups, were a factor in spinning out the practice of investing in older start-ups. He said that Kleiner will focus on putting money into start-ups that are more nascent.

“We would much rather be far more specialized and win, and dominate those sectors we are focused on,” he said.

The firm is attempting to stabilize with a new generation of investors. In addition to hiring Mr. Hamid, known for backing Slack, Box and Yammer, the firm also recently brought on Ilya Fushman, a former investor at Index Ventures.

Follow Erin Griffith on Twitter: @eringriffith.

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