If giving unique names to operations were a competition, Kleiner Perkins would be the MVP, as is evident by the company’s latest project, “Returns of the Jedi.” The announcement, filled to the brim with Star Wars references, was done to introduce to the world to the hedge fund’s latest initiative, KP 19- a $700 million venture fund that is designed to help early stage startups with capital and resources.
The company said that it has closed the KP 19 fund, and says that it will use the $700 million it has raised to invest in startups tackling issues like security, digital identity and the future of work.
KP 19 is the company’s latest addition in the KP series, after the KP 18 was closed last year with a total amount of $600 million. The last edition was known as “back to the future”, and we are not sure if it was ‘back’ or not, but it was definitely ‘to the future’. KP 18 was started in the memory of KP (the owner of the hedge fund, after whom it was named), in an attempt to honor the memory of the revered investor. The fund saw a shift in focus for the company, which until now had been investing in late stage startups. Instead, about 30 out of the 34 companies that became a part of the KP 18 fund were Series A and seed stage.
KP 19 will follow the legacy of its predecessor as it will target early stage startups just like KP 18. The company is particularly excited about investing in newer companies since it believes that it can come up with a better (and honestly, a greedier) deal with them. General partner Ilya Fushman said, “Taking on a board role is what we like to do,” making the reason for investing in early stage companies obvious as they usually offer up more board seats than their established counterparts.
It is not clear how well KP 18 is doing, but the fact that KP 19 is a thing is kind of conveys, that the firm isn’t doing too bad with KP 18, to say the least. Plans are to spend the money in at least 34 to 35 companies, to diversify the investment across various multitudes of fields like consumer, healthcare, enterprise, hardware, fintech infrastructure etc.
It is also interesting to note that the fund has said that not much is changing between the two funds, KP 19 is just the continuation of KP 18, a second season if you will, and not a remodel.