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Kleiner Perkins drops hints about Net start-up

The venture capital giant is quietly recruiting seasoned Internet veterans for a stealth venture called FireDrop.

Internet
Venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is quietly recruiting Internet-seasoned veterans for a stealth venture called FireDrop.

"FireDrop is in 'stealth' mode because we're doing something incredibly special, and we're not quite ready to tell the world about it," reads a statement on the site, which also claims Kleiner Perkins as a backer.

Kleiner Perkins could not immediately be reached for comment.

For now, the site contains little more than an online job application form and a recruiting pitch calling for "2nd and 3rd generation Internet stars" to help build the company.

FireDrop, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., is seeking engineers with HTML, Java and user interface expertise, as well as positions for its Unix and Windows operations departments, marketing, business development and product development.

The site also is looking for volunteers to join its beta test team and provides a mailing list sign-up for notification when the company goes live.

According to one source, word is that FireDrop may be looking to move into the e-invitation space currently occupied by start-ups such as Evite.com, SeeUthere.com, Mambo.com and eParties.

Evite, a start-up that lets customers send invitations online, four weeks ago attracted $30 million in second-round financing. Backers in that round included August Capital and Staenberg Venture Partners, which participated in the first round, as well as Advent International, Greylock Management, Hikari Tsushin, North Hill Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures and others.

Mambo and eParties, meanwhile, have been successful in attracting Web veterans to their executive teams. Former Netscape Netcenter executive Jennifer Bailey joined Mambo as an executive last month, and eCompanies founders Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton, formerly of Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group and EarthLink Network, respectively, helped launch eParties in October.

News.com's Corey Grice contributed to this report.

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