As the Kleiner Perkins empire crumbles, Mary Meeker builds her own.
The author of the Internet Trends Report has $1.25 billion in capital commitments for her debut growth fund, Bond Capital, as first reported by Axios and confirmed to TechCrunch by a source close to the firm.
Bond Capital has declined to comment.
Meeker spun-out from the Kleiner Perkins growth investing practice in September 2018 to form Bond after an internal power struggle between her and Mamoon Hamid, who joined Kleiner in 2017 from Social Capital, left no other option. According to a recent Fortune feature on the formerly revered venture capital firm, Kleiner recruited Hamid to refuel the firm’s early-stage efforts but his purported plan to increase the size of the early-stage funds’ stakes was a step too far onto Meeker’s turf.
“Hamid, say Kleiner insiders, saw himself as helping; Meeker’s team viewed Hamid’s offers as meddling,” Fortune writes.
Meeker, in her Kleiner tenure, was responsible for several of the firm’s most-prized investments, including Airbnb, Uber, Houzz, Slack, Peloton and, more recently, fintech platform Plaid and subscription lifestyle brand FabFitFun. She holds stakes in those high-performing companies via Kleiner’s funds, not through Bond, which has yet to deploy capital, per a source.
Meeker continues to invest out of Kleiner Perkins’ Digital Growth Fund III, a $1 billion vehicle that closed in 2016. Now that Bond has the capital to invest too, Meeker will be busy backing startups with capital from both investment vehicles.
In her new effort, Meeker is joined by Kleiner’s entire former growth practice: Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny, all of whom are general partners in the debut fund.
With Bond, Meeker makes history in launching the first female-founded, female-led venture capital fund to cross the billion-dollar threshold. She is, however, one of several former Kleiner GPs to raise her own fund. Aileen Lee stepped out on her own to form Cowboy Ventures in 2012, Trae Vassallo launched Defy Partners in 2016 and last year Beth Seidenberg raised $320 million in September for Westlake Village BioPartners.
Meeker joined Kleiner Perkins in 2010 after two decades as a managing director at Morgan Stanley. As a well-established Wall Street tech analyst, she quickly rose the Silicon Valley ranks to become one of the few women to earn a GP title at Kleiner in an industry where women have traditionally been shut out from the highest roles.
Her exit from Kleiner, a firm that has been for decades worshipped by founders, damages a brand already suffering from a slew of high-profile exits and a pivot to renewable energies from which the firm never fully recovered.
Kleiner, however, continues to double down on its early-stage efforts under Ilya Fushman, a former investor at Index Ventures, and Hamid’s lead. Earlier this year, the firm closed on $600 million for seed, Series A and Series B-focused funds.
“The environment for venture has evolved — with larger checks being written for seed and A rounds and more support from partners required to build companies — demanding a high degree of specialization and extreme focus to excel,” a spokesperson for Kleiner Perkins said in a statement provided to TechCrunch following Meeker’s exit. “The changes in both areas have led to less overlap between venture and growth and creating two separate firms with different people and operations now makes sense.”