Noted venture firm Kleiner Perkins is getting a little leaner. General partner Mike Abbott announced Monday that he’s leaving the team for an undetermined startup role. Separately, its early stage “Edge” team is folding.
The instances are unrelated, I am told. Abbott, who joined KPCB in 2011 from Twitter, wrote in a post, “my desire to discover and invest in the next new thing became eclipsed by my desire to get my hands dirty again and build the next new thing.” He did not make it clear what he will be doing next, but did refer to his time at KPCB as “one of the greatest jobs on earth.”
Meanwhile, news broke that Kleiner is winding down its Edge-branded early stage investment efforts. But a spokesperson wanted to emphasize that this was not a separate fund and that the team will still be making early investments. “There’s no plan to scale back seed stage investing at the firm,” she said. “KP remains committed to a seed strategy.”
With the winding down of the Edge program, Anjney Midha, Roneil Rumburg and Ruby Lee are all leaving. Edge was announced two years ago, but the investments were made from the main Kleiner Perkins funds.
Here’s how they described the launch of Edge in 2015. “KPCB Edge is a team of builders, investing in seed stage founders working on emerging areas of technology. We are engineers, product managers, designers, and data scientists, with the ability to draw on KPCB’s decades of investing experience. We spend two days each week investing in seed stage companies, using the rest of our time to build tools and products for the founders we invest in, toward the ultimate Pilot’s Checklist for founders. We all write software and have backed, built, or managed products used by thousands of people.”
Eric Feng, who rejoined Kleiner Perkins in 2015, has been leading a lot of the seed stage deals and will continue to do so.
Kleiner Perkins has undergone a lot of changes in the last few years. Legendary investor John Doerr stepped down as managing partner last year and Ted Schlein took over. Doerr remains chairman.
In 2012, Ellen Pao filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins and ultimately lost. But the suit resulted in negative publicity for a while. Since then, a handful of other partners have left the firm.