'Intrigued' Kleiner Perkins mulls $100 million cloud services fund

Venture capital firm sees promising future for cloud services market

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Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers sees a promising future for cloud services.

According to Bloomberg.com's Tech Deals blog, the VCs that have invested in Amazon.com, Google, Twitter, Zynga and Groupon believe enterprises will want what cloud services providers offer -- a way for them to manage data remotely and securely while saving on IT costs.

(Also see: More venture cash goes to the cloud)

KPCB's Matt Murphy told the Tech Deals blog that he and other partners have discussed starting a fund focused on cloud services companies "and are intrigued by the idea." Murphy said the venture firm could invest $100 million in cloud services start-ups in 2012.

It's not as if KPCB hasn't been investing in cloud start-ups. It has. In mid-January the company led a $20 million round for cloud-based app performance management vendor AppDynamics. Earlier that month it led a $50 million round for cloud music services start-up SoundCloud. And Murphy told Bloomberg that KPCB invested $100 million in cloud start-ups last year.

Among KPCB's cloud bets from last year was Nebula, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of a hardware appliance based on the OpenStack open source cloud computing project launched in 2010 by NASA and Rackspace Cloud

KPCB already has four separate funds: the iFund (for mobile apps, from which cloud investments are made); the sFund (social); Digital Growth Fund (later-stage digital investments); and Green Growth Fund.

The latter two are $1 billion funds, while the sFund manages $250 million and the iFund $200 million, so a $100 million cloud services fund would be relatively modest.

Says the guy who's not betting $100 million of his own money.

Forrester Research forecast last spring that the global market for cloud services will grow to $241 billion in 2020 from $40.7 billion last year.

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