Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced Monday that it has hired technology research analyst and industry veteran Mary Meeker as the premier venture capital firm’s newest partner.
Scott Devitt, Meeker’s fellow colleague at Morgan Stanley since 2009, will take on her former position covering research in the U.S. Internet sector, according to spokeswoman Sandra Hernandez.
“[Meeker’s] advice and support are already highly sought after by entrepreneurs,” said KPCB partner John Doerr, “and in this new role, she will be able to spend even more time providing more direct assistance.”
Since 1991, Meeker served Morgan Stanley as one of the lead researchers focused solely on the growing influence of personal computers and the Web. A series of studies she published--the Internet Report in 1995, followed by advertising and e-commerce studies in 1996 and 1997--were considered “bibles” to early tech entrepreneurs and earned her the title, “Queen of the Internet,” bestowed on her by Barron’s in 1998.
The bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000 left many disenchanted, and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Morgan Stanley for providing faulty analysis. Eventually, the firm settled for $1.4 billion. While Meeker wasn’t directly charged with any illegal behavior, her former infallibility diminished just as all the companies starting with “e” or ending in “.com” realized they were not invincible.
And just like Internet businesses, Meeker’s clout rose again in the past decade as the Web found new gardens to grow in: mobile and social.
Kleiner has aggressively sought investments in both the mobile space with its $200 million iFund, first announced in 2008 and refueled in March, and in the social space with a $250 million sFund, which was just announced just a month ago. Investments from the iFund directly target the iOS platform--iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad--and the sFund was made just for businesses building on Facebook’s platform. Though some criticized the firm of feigning innovation by merely jumping on the bandwagon, Kleiner believes social’s still a burgeoning space.
Meeker will be based in Silicon Valley--Kleiner’s home--and will travel often to New York and Asia.