The Khosla Ventures IV fund will invest in cleantech, IT, mobile, and Internet technology in roughly the same ratio as previous funds.
“We have identified the ‘Clean Dozen’ companies in cleantech that can achieve unsubsidized market competitiveness,” says founder Vinod Khosla.
The venture capital firm is interested in supporting breakthrough clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar and batteries.
Three biofuels and biochemical portfolio companies have had successful recent IPOs: Amyris (Nasdaq:AMRS); Gevo (Nasdaq: GEVO); and KiOR (Nasdaq: KIOR).
“We fundamentally invest in the companies that we expect to have significant impact,” says Khosla. “We don’t mind failing but do care that the impact be material if we do succeed; and we believe that our willingness to fail gives us an ability to succeed. We will continue to not compute IRR’s when investing as we believe in helping entrepreneurs build companies with high impact and high option value that are not subject to traditional financial metrics.”
“In clean tech, our IPO’s and other exits that have generated almost a billion dollars in profits personify this strategy,” he continues. “Instead of following the herd strategy of investing where others are investing, we continue to try and originate new areas. We will also continue to attempt new strategies in venture by providing more venture assistance to companies such as putting together an operational group. We are not in the venture capital business. We are in the venture assistance business.”
Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 – he was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems.