Funds News

UPDATE 2-Kleiner Perkins China partner Goh resigns -sources

(Adds sources’ quotes, Goh’s background and China deals)

HONG KONG, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Ian Goh, a China partner of Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, recently resigned from the firm for personal reasons, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

Private equity and venture capital managers are facing immense pressure as the global financial crisis causes available capital to dry up, limits their investment options and hurts the performance of companies in their portfolios.

“Apparently, it is not a good time to resign unless you have to or you find something really new and interesting, given that the market environment is so bad,” said one of the sources.

Goh was promoted to partner in the China team of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, also known as KPCB, at the beginning of 2008.

Tina Ju and Forrest Zhong, two well-known Chinese venture capitalists, remain as partners of KPCB China, said the sources, who declined to be identified before an official announcement about Goh’s departure.

A spokesman for KPCB could not be immediately reached for comment.

KPCB, one of the biggest U.S. venture capital funds that has backed companies such as Google Inc GOOG.O and Inc AMZN.O, began to expand in China in early 2007.

Its U.S. partners include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who is specialising in clean technology business for the firm.

KPCB manages a $360 million China fund, which was launched in April 2007. The firm has completed at least nine China deals in sectors ranging from technology to retail since then.

Goh’s departure came after Joe Zhou resigned early last year as a partner of KPCB China to launch his own fund. However, Zhou remains as a so-called “affiliated partner” of KPCB China, according to the company Web site (

Zhang Fan, a founding partner of the Chinese arm of Silicon Valley-based fund Sequoia Capital, told Reuters on Monday that he had resigned due to personal reasons, while two industry sources said Zhang may launch his own fund. [ID:nHKG279379]


KPCB China is a result of the alliance between KPCB and China-focused investment firm TDF Capital, which Goh joined in 2004 as a director.

During his days at TDF, Goh led an investment in CGEN Media, which was eventually acquired by Focus Media Holding Ltd FMCN.O. He is also well known for acquisitions of and for Lycos Asia where he worked before he joined TDF.

At KPCB China, Goh led an undisclosed amount of investment in PPG Direct Merchants Inc, a Chinese online retailer of men’s clothes, which numerous recent local media reports said was embroiled in financial problems with many of its suppliers.

Goh served on the board of directors of PPG.

Late last year, PPG made an announcement to Chinese media that it had secured $100 million of new investment from an unidentified leading U.S. department store as its strategic investor. However, the sources told Reuters on Tuesday that there was no such a deal.

PPG declined to comment on Tuesday.