A lot of news articles are commenting on how Kleiner raised $1.4 billion dollars in two new funds. This is a very believable event as they are a major VC firm who has had their share of success. However, the evidence the news stories point to make the claim of a completed fundraise seem a little bit premature.
The New York Times story, released on June 29, links to the SEC Form D filings of these two new funds as its main proof after stating the following:
On Wednesday, the venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had raised a total of $1.4 billion across two investment funds over the last couple of months.
But clicking through the links gives a different story. The Form D of the $1 billion dollar fund that was filed on 6/29.
The $400 million dollar fund filed on 6/29:
For reference, this is what the Form D of a fund that has definitely finished the process of raising over a billion dollars looks like:
The amount sold equals the offering amount, and there is nothing left to be sold.
The New York Times wasn't alone in their statement. Bloomberg covered the story the same way, Tech Crunch said "It's Official" and the WSJ called the funds closed. Basically everyone who covers tech has called the funds closed.
A few things could be going on here. One possibility is that some larger firms don't disclose their target size until they have a good idea that their limited partners will be willing to come on board with that amount of capital. While fundraising for a fund without filing Form D with the SEC is likely problematic, there are probably types of almost fundraising behaviors that are technically legal. So when a news organization sees this filing from a major VC firm it knows they have basically raised the capital.
Another possibility is that the news organizations got this story wrong and Kleiner is not able to correct the press during their quiet period. Also, because making LPs think that they are missing out on the fund isn't necessarily a bad thing they have no incentive to risk breaking the law to correct the story. This seems more likely.
Maybe media is right because the person in charge of filling out Kleiner's Form D's never likes to admit that the total amount is sold, even when it is. I looked at a 2014 filing of a fund that definitely closed at some point and could not find an updated Form D to indicate that fact (That's also possibly due to my inability to search through Edgar effectively). Still, when news leaked of the 2014 fund closing after those filings it was at least backed up by leaks from limited partner investors and not by a form in which they admit that $0 of the fund is sold.
If there is a better explanation, please let me know. Because right now it seems like the media has followed each other in a herd like behavior and declared two funds closed which are not really closed.
Thanks to my brother, Jonathan Lonsdale, for initially showing me something weird was going on and talking me through what filing a Form D meant. Any errors are my own.