Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, which famously co-invested in Google Inc. some years back, announced today that they are investing $30 million in a Series C round in Jive Software Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of social networking software and technology for the enterprise.
This isn’t the first time Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia have co-invested. A quick scan of the database shows that the two Silicon Valleys firms have come together before to back PodShow, Digitial Chocolate and Vividence.
But Tony Zingale, CEO of Jive, tells me that the firms have not come together for such a big round since Google. “And things worked out pretty well for that company,” says Zingale, who joined the company in 2007 and was named CEO in April.
Jive is oft-rumored as an IPO candidate. And Zingale, who previously was CEO of software developer Mercury Interactive, which Hewlett-Packard bought for $4.5 billion in 2006, said the company is ramping up to an IPO, reportedly within the next year, but he declined to discuss specifics.
Jive—which provides collaboration, communication and other social networking tools to Cisco, Nike, Starbucks, VMware and about 5,000 other large businesses—previously raised $27 million in two rounds from sole investor Sequoia. As part of the Series C, Ted Schlein, managing partner of Kleiner Perkins, has joined the board, which already includes Sequoia General Partner Jim Goetz.
Schlein declined to discuss the round’s valuation or what proportion of the round Kleiner Perkins invested, which came from the firm’s $700 million 13th fund, vintage 2008. But he said the company is pleased with the valuation.
He also answered a few additional questions from me before the funding announcement was released.
Q: How did the two firms come together to invest in Jive?
Schlein: No. We don’t often co-invest. But this is a great opportunity in this space. Someone is going to take the lead in providing social networking software for the enterprise. And we feel like Jive has this thing right.
Q: But how did the two firms come together?
Schlein: This is a great example of the two firms working together. Matt Murphy [the Kleiner Perkins partner who manage its iFund]. Previously referred it to Goetz. It wasn’t right for us at the time. But now it’s a great example of our two firms working together.
Q: How’s general deal flow looking right now?
Schlein: There’s no shortage of entrepreneurs right now, which is great, because it’s not taking huge amounts of capital to launch startups.
On the social networking front, there are a lot of opportunities. The social networking phenomenon is taking off. We’re seeing 500 million people joining Facebook, iPhone apps are exploding. This is a good time to be investing in this space. The VC’s community interest in this sector is quite healthy right now.