Storied venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is, these days, a joke when it comes to Internet investing, a couple of high-powered startup people told us last week.
In the world as these guys see it, Kleiner – best known for backing Web 1.0 giants Amazon, Google and Netscape – hasn’t been the same in IT since partners John Doerr moved into green tech and Vinod Khosla left to start his own firm.
These guys say KP trots out Doerr when it needs to close a deal, but sticks junior partners on its portfolio companies’ boards.
These startup people – rival investors, let’s admit – say KP is just riding on a good name earned in better years. These people say it’s only press like us that assume KP is still a powerful firm.
A quick rebuttal would probably start with KP portfolio company Zynga – the social games maker that should reach $600 million revenues this year – and end with Flipboard, the startup behind the iPad app that launched last week to a frenzy in the press.
But the startup investors and entrepreneurs out there probably know best. So enlighten the rest of us, is Kleiner Perkins toast on the Internet?