Two longtime Benchmark general partners, including one of its founding members – Bob Kagle, who led the firm’s massively successful investment in eBay – are not listed as “managing members of the general partner” in an SEC filing for the firm’s latest fund, suggesting that they are phasing out of Benchmark.
PeHUB was the first to report earlier today that Benchmark had closed on a seventh fund, $400 $425 million vehicle.
Kagle, 52 (according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek), has been a member of Benchmark Capital since its founding in May 1995. General Partner Alex Balkanski also is not listed as a managing member of the general partner in the SEC filing. Balkanski joined Benchmark as a GP in April 2000 after co-founding and running digital media company C-Cube (Nasdaq: CUBE).
Both Balkanski and Kagle (pictured above) are currently listed as general partners on Benchmark’s website. In theory, they may choose to tend to their existing portfolio companies and board seats and just not be active investors in the new $400 million fund, just as former Benchmark GP Andy Rachleff did in 2004. Rachleff, 45 at the time, chose not to be a GP and instead work part-time on the firm’s fifth fund, so he could spend more time with his family and, ultimately, teach a course on entrepreneurship at Stanford University.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows that managing members of the general partner for fund VII are current Benchmark GPs Matt Cohler, Bruce Dunlevie, Peter Fenton, J. William “Bill” Gurley, Kevin Harvey, Steven Spurlock and Mitchell Lasky.
Benchmark’s website shows that Kagle’s investments include AllPosters.com, Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), Art.com (acquired by Getty Images), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), E-Loan (Nasdaq: EELN), Friendster, Get2Chip (acquired by Cadence), Jamba Juice, Logoworks (acquired by H-P), Mint (acquired by Intuit), PeopleSupport (Nasdaq: PSPT), Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS), WorldWinner.com (acquired by Fun Technologies), Zipcar and zipRealty (Nasdaq: ZIPR).
The website does not list Kagle’s current board seats. At one time, Kagle sat on eBay’s board.
Prior to Benchmark, Kagle spent about 12 years as a general partner with Technology Venture Investors, which he joined in 1984.
Balkanski, 46 (according to BusinessWeek), presently serves on the boards of Ambarella, D2S, Mu Dynamics, Newport Media, Picarro and Twin Creeks. Previously he was a board member of Infinera (INFN), Decru (acquired by Network Appliance), and Entrisphere (acquired by Ericsson), according to Benchmark’s website.