Kleiner Perkins ranks as most active investor in 2013

It was an up and down year for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

[peh_archive_image id=”230583″]


Year in Review

But one thing is for certain. The firm is not sitting on its haunches. Kleiner Perkins, which announced in the fall that it was tweaking its partnership so that just five managing directors will lead its early-stage practice, pumped $474.9 million into 103 deals during the year, ranking it as the most active venture investor during 2013, in terms of deals made and amount invested.

500 Startups, which focuses on seed deals, came in second, investing in 86 deals, but putting only $29.3 million to work. New Enterprise Associates followed closely behind, investing $377.3 million in 84 deals, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ). The data, as of mid-December, was based on regulatory filings, press releases and other public information.

To see a list of the top 10 VC dealmakers and a select number of companies they invested in during the year, click on the “Tables” link on the right.

Accel Partners, which did not rank in the top 10 of most active firms, invested the second most amount of money during the year behind Kleiner Perkins, putting $406 million to work into 59 deals.

Last year, Thomson Reuters reported that NEA was the top most active VC, investing $757.6 in 110 companies, while Kleiner Perkins came in second in 2012, putting $511.4 million into 90 companies.

In 2013, Kleiner Perkins, which invested from a $525 million main fund that it raised in 2012, backed such high-profile companies as 3vr Security, AlienVault, Clean Power Finance, Dropcam, Egnyte, eRecycling Group, Flipboard, Nextdoor.com, Practice Fusion, Rent The Runway, Telogis and Zaarly, among others.

Kleiner Perkins’ standing on top of the most active list comes amid an overhaul of its partner ranks that came to light in October. John Doerr, Ted Schlein, Randy Komisar, Beth Seidenberg and Mike Abbott will now lead its early-stage investments.

The rearrangement leaves out existing partners, such as Bing Gordon, the former Electronic Arts executive, who led the firm’s investment in game company Zynga. However, Gordon has since been tapped to lead KPCB ProductWorks, the firm’s program to help support entrepreneurs with mentoring, recruiting and other services. Kleiner Perkins also hired John Maeda away as president of the Rhode Island School of Design, to serve as the design partner of ProductWorks.

Separately, Partner Chi-Hua Chien, who joined the firm in 2007 and has led its involvement in Path, Klout, Chegg and Zaarly, is reportedly looking to launch his own venture fund as he transition out from Kleiner Perkins.

The storied venture firm has seen its shares of highs and lows in recent years. Kleiner Perkins made early investments in Amazon, Juniper Networks and Google among others during the dot-com heyday. But it has been criticized for missing early-stage bets in hot social media stalwarts, like Twitter and Facebook, although the firm entered in later-stage rounds on those two now publicly traded companies.

Also, its initial push into cleantech has not proven so fruitful. Portfolio company Fisker Automotive, a maker of hybrid electric cars, filed for bankruptcy in November.

The firm is also undergoing a gender discrimination lawsuit involving former Partner Ellen Pao, who said she was maliciously terminated. The firm tried to get the case taken to binding arbitration where it would have been decided privately, but that was denied, most recently by the California Supreme Court. The case is now in the discovery stage, in which both sides provide documents and information to each other, and is proceeding toward trial.

Pao had filed her initial claim in 2012, alleging that the firm cut her out of deals because she complained that she was pressured into sex by a colleague. The firm said the firing was unrelated to her complaint.

When all is said and done, 2013 was not a bad year for exits for the firm. Last month, VCJ reported that Kleiner Perkins had the most U.S.-based VC-backed IPOs of any firm, with at least seven to its credit, including Chegg, Twitter, Epizyme and Veracyte, based on Thomson Reuters data.

A separate study puts Kleiner Perkins at the top of a list of firms with the greatest potential for technology-focused IPOs in 2014. CB Insights reported—in a study that identified 590 VC- and PE-backed U.S.-based tech companies with real or rumored valuations above $100 million—Kleiner Perkins has the most companies in the tech IPO pipeline with at least 50.

It’s hard to know the returns on the possible future investments. The firm invested in many of the companies at the Series B and C stages, so its potential return multiple is likely less than a Series A-focused investor.

However, the firm has been making big bets in a number of hot companies, such as Rent The Runway, which has raised $54.4 million to date and counts Kleiner Perkins as an early-stage backer.

The firm has invested in several rounds of on-demand file server company Egnyte, which has raised $61.5 million to date and told VCJ in December that it is eyeing a possible IPO in 2015.

Flipboard, a provider of a social magazine reader app, has raised $160.5 million to date, including several rounds of participation from Kleiner Perkins.

The firm entered into the last round of Nextdoor, a social networking site that has now raised more than $103 million.

Kleiner Perkins is also a late-stage investor in Practice Fusion, which has now raised $144 million in funding, Thomson Reuters reported.