Will Kleiner Perkins survive without Mary Meeker?

Yes. Don’t worry at all.

Mary Meeker is iconic, and losing her is clearly a bummer on some/many levels. But times do change, and venture and the markets have changed dramatically in the past 5 years.

However, there is 0% chance Kleiner won’t have a strong run for at least 15–20 years:

  • Mamoon Hamid is now running Kleiner and is relatively young, driven and has a very strong record, from Slack to Box and many other unicorns. He has also recruited other strong investors to join KPCB recently.
  • Venture funds last 10–13 years each — and LPs generally make 2–3 fund commitments to each set of managers. This new generation of leaders has just closed its first funds as managers at KPCB. This means 3 funds x 12 years each x 2.5 years gap between funds = 20 years of new LP commitment! That may be a slight exaggeration, but not a huge one. “Worst case”, the LPs (the folks that give VCs money) have given the current KPCB team a 20+ year commitment.
  • The recent KPCB funds were substantially oversubscribed. So, there clearly is plenty of capital that wants to back the ‘new’ KPCB.

The reality is, the synergies between the late-stage investing (Mary’s team) and the early-stage team weren’t huge in the real world. That meant keeping them together likely would create more conflicts and management overhead than it was worth. I assume a huge % of KPCB’s LPs/investors have invested in Mary Meeker’s new firm, so from an LP perspective, maybe not even that much has changed.

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Published on May 15, 2019

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