Kleiner Perkins Considers New Fund for Startups Offering Cloud Services

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture firm that backed Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc., is considering starting a new fund focused on startups selling cloud services to corporations.

Kleiner Perkins partners “have talked about it, and are intrigued by the idea,” said Matt Murphy, a partner at the Menlo Park, California-based firm. Kleiner Perkins could invest $100 million in the market this year, he said. Cloud services, which run on servers located in remote data centers, help companies manage their data.

The firm is chasing a global cloud-computing market that will grow at an annual clip of about 30 percent a year, reaching $270 billion in 2020, according to Market Research Media Ltd. Companies are embracing the approach because it means they don’t have to store software and data on local computers, saving the time and expense of managing those systems.

“Companies’ comfort level and willingness to adopt the cloud is hitting an acceleration point,” Murphy said. “Now’s the most interesting time in the last 10 years to be investing in enterprise-based companies.”

In January, Kleiner Perkins led a $20 million funding round in AppDynamics, which helps companies manage Web applications. Last year, the firm poured about $100 million into 10 more cloud startups, including automation provider Puppet Labs, Murphy said.

Many cloud companies have been acquired in the past year, and others are preparing to go public, providing a payoff to their venture investors.

In July, Citrix Systems Inc. bought Cloud.com Inc., a maker of software for delivering and managing cloud services. And this week Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Taleo Corp., which helps companies manage human resources and set compensation, for about $1.9 billion. Workday Inc., a provider of employee and payroll management software to businesses, is preparing for an IPO filing, people familiar with the matter said in December.

Kleiner Perkins already runs a $200 million fund called the iFund that invests in applications, services and components for mobile Internet devices, such as Apple Inc.’s iPad. It also has a $250 million fund focused on social startups.

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