The run-up in Internet stocks is generating some hefty returns for high-tech venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
KPCB holds stakes in companies such as Preview Travel, Concentric Networks, @Home, and Amazon.com; all of which are unprofitable, but nevertheless are among the highest-flying Net stocks nowadays. That should help cushion the blow of the falloff in Netscape during the past six months, another company that KPCB helped take public. Other KPCB-backed companies, such as 2-year-old Healtheon, have yet to go public.
In the latest example of a KPCB-backed company faring well on the market, Concentric Networks jumped more than 18 percent during today's trading, reaching a new 52-week high before closing at 29-7/8. It rose on news that the company had signed a deal with Teligent to provide nationwide data network services.
Last August, KPCB helped Concentric go public at $12 per share.
KPCB also completed these offerings:
Preview Travel, a Web site for booking travel online, went public last November, raising $28 million priced at $11 a share. This year alone, Preview's stock has appreciated a whopping 375 percent--tops for Internet stocks, according to a recent report by Digital Video. Preview Travel now is trading at about 36 per share.
@Home, which provides high-speed Net access via cable, went public last July, raising $94 million at $10.50 per share. It has more than tripled to about 33 per share.
Amazon.com, an online bookseller, went public last May, raising $54 million at $18 a share. It currently is trading near 90, closing in on the $100-per-share milestone surpassed by Yahoo (YHOO) last week.
One KPCB-based IPO that has peaked, then fallen: Rambus went public last May, raising $38 million at $12 a share. It now is trading at around 44 per share. The stock has traded as high as 86-3/4 during the past 52 weeks, and as low as 22-1/2.
KPCB is not alone among venture capital firms in getting wealthy from the Internet. For example, the VC firm of Draper Fisher Jurvetson cashed in when the two free email companies that it backed, HotMail and Four11, were sold, to Microsoft and Yahoo, respectively.