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Kleiner Perkins raises $525 million for new fund

May 17, 2012: 10:00 PM ET

Venerable venture capital firm raises latest early-stage fund.

FORTUNE -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has closed its fifteenth early-stage venture capital fund with $525 million in capital commitments.

In many ways, this is just more of the same for Kleiner Perkins: Investing in young startups that it hopes will become the next Google (GOOG) or Genentech. But there also are some subtle differences, as reflected by the group of ten investment professionals listed as "managing members."

As previously reported by Fortune, Brook Byers, Ray Lane and Bill Joy have scaled back their activities (although they may continue to do deals). The new fund's partners are: Mike Abbott, Chi-Hua Chien, Amol Deshpande, John Doerr, Bing Gordon, Wen Hsieh, Randy Komisar, Matt Murphy, Beth Seidenberg, and Ted Schlein.

Of this decuplet, only one member (Seidenberg) is focused on life sciences investing. And just two (Deshpande and Hsieh) are focused on greentech. Its reflective of the firm's plan to invest the majority of KBCP XV into digital companies, whereas its prior early-stage fund -- a $650 million vehicle closed early last year -- was designed to invest around half of its money into digital, with teh remainder split between life sciences and greentech.

"It's not about us not believing in life sciences or greentech," says Ted Schlein, who leads the firm's digital practice. "It's just a reflection on where we feel the best opportunities are at this particular time."

He adds that the firm continues to invest out of a $500 million-plus green growth fund. It also has a $1 billion digital growth fund (led by Mary Meeker), and a small side fund for social technology investments.

Kleiner Perkins already has begun making commitments out of KBCP XV, which was sold to limited partners with the same premium terms as its predecessor.

And, given today's big news, it's worth noting that Kleiner Perkins did make an investment in Facebook (FB), but it was a relatively miniscule $38 million deal last year at a $52 billion valuation (so small, in fact, that Kleiner Perkins isn't mentioned in Facebook's IPO documents). The transaction would produce around a 2x return at today's valuation, but was viewed by many as a "poster transaction" -- or a deal designed primarily to add a popular name to the firm's portfolio.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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