Kleiner Perkins Rejected Zynga Twice Before Investing

Posted Nov 23, 2010

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers almost missed out on investing in Zynga. It turns out that KPCB rejected investments in Zynga? twice. Now KP partner John Doerr said “Zynga is the largest, most rapidly growing, most profitable company, with the most happy customers that Kleiner’s ever invested in over it’s life.”

KPCB is known for making smart investments in tech companies. They plugged money into Google, Sun Microsystems, and Amazon.com before the companies had gone public.

The first time that Zynga CEO Mark Pincus pitched KPCB for an investment in January 2008, they did not get one. In the same year, KPCB turned down Pincus again on Zynga’s Series B.

“Silicon valley had stopped believing in games,” stated KP partner Bing Gordon. Gordon did not like KP’s refusal because he helped build Electronic Arts. Bing told his KPCB colleagues that if they did not put in money, he would put in some of his own personal money. This convinced the VC firm to put money in and it was one of the best decisions that they have ever made.