SAN FRANCISCO — The “Queen of the Internet” will soon have her own investment firm.
Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, plans to depart the firm this year to start a new investment fund. It is a significant loss for Kleiner, which hired Ms. Meeker, a former Wall Street analyst known as the Queen of the Internet for her bullish coverage of internet stocks, in 2010.
Ms. Meeker is leaving Kleiner as the storied venture firm has been shrinking. It plans to spin off its practice of investing in more mature and larger private companies, known as late-stage investing, into a separate entity. Three other investors at Kleiner — Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny — will join that new firm with Ms. Meeker, which has not yet settled on a name, she said in an interview.
Ms. Meeker, 58, made her name in the late 1990s as an analyst at Morgan Stanley, cheerleading risky dot-com stocks even through the 2000 market crash. Since joining Kleiner, she has led its investments in more mature start-ups and yielded several successful bets by putting money into Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Snap when the companies were further along. She also delivers an annual internet trends report that is often regarded as required reading in the technology industry.
Her exit is the latest shake-up at Kleiner, a 46-year-old firm that helped put venture capital on the map and in its heyday nurtured companies including Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Google and Amazon. In recent years, the firm has struggled to produce the same successes. After the dot-com bust, Kleiner missed the initial wave of social networking start-ups and focused on putting money into technologies that would help the environment, in what turned into a costly detour. Over time, other venture firms have risen and garnered more buzz.