Mary Meeker Joins Kleiner Perkins as Partner
Venture capital mega-firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has announced that Mary Meeker is joining the firm as a partner, in another sign that the firm is focusing more on this wave of mobile-meets-social-meets-local-meets-global wave of Web disruption. “Our number one goal is to help the Mark Pincuses of the world build their businesses into Internet treasures, and there has been no greater finder of Internet treasures than Mary Meeker,” said KP’s John Doerr in an early morning call, just after Meeker broke the news to Morgan Stanley’s technology and Internet practice– a force on Wall Street where she’s made her name over the last 20 years.
As an analyst, Mary Meeker was as famous in the dot com glory days as Doerr was as a VC, so it’s appropriate and seemingly a long time coming that the two would wind up as partners. Meeker said she’d thought about making the change “from the skybox to coaching down on the field,” as Doerr described it, for years. She was swayed finally by a combination of factors including confidence that Morgan Stanley’s tech practice was in a strong place, the opportunity with Kleiner specifically and the stage the Internet is in right now.
It’s a tough market with huge spoils. She spoke about the heady combination of the mobile innovation being built on the iPhone and Android platforms with the surging billion-person-plus worldwide Internet audience, combined with a savvier class of entrepreneurs than the industry has seen before and CEOs of companies like Google, Amazon and Apple who are smart, paranoid, and not willingly going to cede any ground to upstarts.
First it was the hire of Bing Gordon who did KP’s most brag-worthy Web deal with Zynga, then the iFund, then the sFund and now the addition of Meeker. A few years ago, Kleiner seemed to be deemphasizing the Web to focus more on opportunities in cleantech, but the news today is just another signal of how serious Kleiner is about this market opportunity. “This third wave of disruption of social and mobile has meant that digital investing has taken on a new prominence in Kleiner,” Doerr says.
Meeker will be based in Silicon Valley, but will travel between the Valley and New York and Asia.
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