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Kleiner Perkins explains itself to investors

Mar 06, 2013

FORTUNE -- Reuters has a buzzy report out about how venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers recently held a series of limited partners meetings, in which it “acknowledged” weak performance.

My initial reaction was: “Huh? Aren’t LPs already aware of Kleiner Perkins’ performance? After all, they do get quarterlies.”

So I reached out to some of the firm’s investors, who tell me that Kleiner Perkins chose to significantly reduce holding values on numerous portfolio companies for Q4, which was a change from relatively static holding values used during the prior quarters. So these meetings were to preempt LPs from being surprised when the year-end report arrived.

There also was a bunch of mea culpa over the firm’s cleantech emphasis, which has been significantly scaled back.

Finally, one LP also is sure to point out that performance “weakness” is relative. “Current KP funds are performing pretty well, not rock star but upper-quartile.”

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