She may not have the name recognition of former colleague Beth Seidenberg, but Lynne Chou-O’Keefe, who has spent the last five-plus years investing in healthcare on behalf of the venture firm Kleiner Perkins, is raising her own debut fund.
According to a newly processed SEC filing, the firm is called Define Ventures, and it has already locked down $50 million in capital commitments from a handful of investors. (The filing says it is targeting $65 million.)
Chou-O’Keefe had joined Kleiner Perkins in 2013 as a partner in its small life sciences group, to focus on digital health and connected devices.
Before becoming a VC, she spent six years with Abbott Vascular, a division of the healthcare giant Abbott, first as a global product manager and later as a global marketing director. She also logged a couple of years with Guidant (which is part of Boston Scientific and Abbott Labs) and before that, worked in venture with Apax Partners.
Chou-O’Keefe’s fund comes on the heels of that of Seidenberg, who joined Kleiner Perkins back in 2005 and left earlier this year in order to co-found her own, L.A.-based venture firm, Westlake Village BioPartners. Seidenberg’s firm has since closed its debut fund with $320 million in capital commitments.
Define Ventures looks a part of a continuing trend of Kleiner investors creating their own firms, in fact. Earlier investing partners Aileen Lee and Trae Vassallo have gone on to create Cowboy Ventures and Defy Partners, respectively.
Other former Kleiner Perkins investors to helm their own funds include Chi-Hua Chien, who today runs the consumer-tech focused venture firm Goodwater Capital; Brook Porter, David Mount, Benjamin Kortlang and Daniel Oros, who together worked on Kleiner’s Green Growth Fund and have since launched a firm called G2VP that’s focused on cloud computing, machine learning, computer vision and mobility; and star venture investor Mary Meeker, who announced last month that she, too, is leaving Kleiner Perkins, along with her team (Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny) to create a new fund that will officially launch early next year.
Very notably, in a Bloomberg piece about Meeker’s departure, Chou-O’Keefe was named as Kleiner Perkins’s last remaining female investor. Following what we expect will be an attenuated transition out of the firm (these things always take time, at least on paper), that no longer looks to be the case.
Chou-O’Keefe declined to comment for this story.