Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FORTUNE: Kleiner’s misadventures in China «

"A second founding partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ year-old China Fund has left, this time to work for a competing fund sponsored by a U.S.-based venture firm, Matrix Partners. David Su’s exit follows the departure last year of Joe Zhou, who simply quit after only a few months at Kleiner.

This is getting more than a little embarrassing for the storied Silicon Valley VC firm. In April 2007, Kleiner established its first dedicated fund outside the United States, the $360-million China Fund, run by its newly recruited KPCB China team, dubbed “China Perkins” by Kleiner watchers with a sense of humor."

"This non-U.S. fund business is a tough one for American venture capital firms. They say the funds are extensions of themselves. But in reality they are brand extensions whereby the Sand Hill Road firm charges a “tax” that is the difference between what a top-tier firm like Kleiner collects in fees from its investors and what a less experienced investment team abroad could get. Few are willing to take the one step required to ensure at least that the China entity is infused with the culture of the firm back home: sending a successful U.S. partner to live full time in China."

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