| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Dec 13 Khosla Ventures, the
venture firm founded by Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod
Khosla, said it had retained former Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and her consulting firm as strategic advisers.
The move points to the growing importance venture firms
attach to helping their portfolio companies with policy and
"We'll help the companies navigate government and regulatory
concerns abroad," said Anja Manuel, a partner at
RiceHadleyGates, Rice's consulting firm. "We'll help with
negotiating the world of emerging markets, understanding where
to expand to."
The firm will also help with executive coaching, she added.
Understanding overseas markets is increasingly important as
so many Khosla companies find themselves doing business all over
the world, said Khosla partner Samir Kaul. Global expertise is
crucial for energy companies, he said, an area in which Khosla
has a number of investments, especially in the
Kaul said he and Rice first got to know each other while
serving on the board of biomass fuels company KiOR.
Earlier this year, rival venture firm Andreessen Horowitz
hired Adrian Fenty, the former mayor of Washington, D.C., as an
adviser. It had hired former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as
an adviser last year.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where Khosla previously
worked as a venture capitalist, lists former Vice President Al
Gore and former Secretary of State Colin Powell on its team.
Khosla Ventures, founded in 2004, is perhaps best known for
its backing of clean-technology and Internet companies. Its
portfolio companies include microserver company SeaMicro,
acquired by chip designer AMD earlier this year for $334
million, and business social-networking service Yammer, acquired
by Microsoft earlier this year for $1.2 billion.