Khosla Ventures Announces New Funds, Partners

Khosla Ventures has closed two new funds with more than $1 billion in capital commitments. Khosla Ventures III was targeted at $750 million, and will focus on early and mid-stage venture investments in the cleantech and IT spaces. Khosla Ventures also was targeting $250 million for its first seed-stage fund.

The two new partners are: Gideon Yu, former CFO for Facebook, and Jim Kim, previously a senior partner with CMEA Capital (peHUB reported Kim’s hiring last month).

PRESS RELEASE

Khosla Ventures today announced two new funds, Khosla Ventures III and Khosla Ventures Seed, that together have raised more than one billion dollars, in excess of its original targets in both funds. The firm also announced the addition of two partners: Gideon Yu and Jim Kim.

“The broader capital base and team allow us to accelerate what we do, which I call venture assistance — we assist and mentor entrepreneurs,” said Vinod Khosla, the firm’s founder. “We will continue to foster high risk technology innovation and unproven but high impact science experiments, now with greater resources.”

Our industry focus will be defined by entrepreneurs’ imagination, though we expect to continue to foster innovation in technology-based large markets including clean energy, efficiency, sustainable materials and information technology. Our goals in renewables go beyond Cleantech to Maintech — we believe the infrastructure of society will be open to technical re-invention, creating very large new opportunities. Already this year, seven new companies have been added to our portfolio across Cleantech and information technology including Skywatch in solar, HCL in cellulosic sugars, Hybra-Drive in efficiency, and Rayspan and SeaMicro in information technology.

Our goal is to assist entrepreneurs and we are honored to have been able to do so with a number of companies over the past five years. Examples include: tackling sometimes “imprudent” science risk with a radical approach to carbon sequestration at Calera, taking an equally radical approach to biofuels with Kior, and going beyond traditional lithium ion technology in the battery market; brainstorming business models and building teams at Xobni in email and at Soraa in LED lighting, risk management with all our biofuels startups, developing corporate relationships for Aliph | Jawbone, and team building for Ecomotors, Soladigm and many others. Over time, we hope to help companies scale to become large sustainable business.

Khosla Ventures Seed fund, originally targeted at $250 million, will focus on the highest risk projects. These ventures may start at universities and often cannot find any other funding. Khosla Ventures III, originally targeted at $750 million, pursues more typical early and mid-stage venture investments, with additional capital available to the companies as they scale. The new capital represents the first external funds raised and the increased size reflects the breadth of great ideas we are seeing from entrepreneurs.

“CalPERS and Khosla Ventures have built a strong partnership,” said Joncarlo Mark, Senior Portfolio Manager at CalPERS. “Vinod and his team have a differentiated strategy toward both investing and alignment with LPs.”

The announcement of Gideon Yu and Jim Kim joining follows Pierre Lamond’s addition earlier in the year. Lamond is the co-founder of National Semiconductor and held executive roles at Fairchild, Advent and Coherent. Lamond then began a career spanning three decades as an industry leading venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital. Yu was most recently Chief Financial Officer of Facebook, and prior to that was the Chief Financial Officer of YouTube and the Treasurer / SVP Finance at Yahoo. Kim previously worked in Cleantech investing at CMEA and at GE Capital where he worked with companies including A123 Systems, Danotek and Solyndra. Together, the new partners bring a wide range of experience and contacts. They join an existing team of partners all of whom have hands-on experience in building their own startups and in operations.

“We are not financiers. Capital is a small part of what we provide to entrepreneurs,” said Pierre Lamond. “We like to understand the technologies we invest in ourselves, then focus on building the right team that understands the underlying technology. This is becoming even more critical in the technology-intensive world of Cleantech.”

About Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California. More information is available at www.khoslaventures.com.

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