KPCB China loses two partners

Managing partner Forrest Zhong is considering setting up his own fund while partner Michael Li has joined Tsing Capital to do cleantech investment.

The Chinese team of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has lost two partners in one day.

Forrest Zhong, managing partner and one of the founding partners of KPCB China, has decided to leave the firm and is considering setting up on his own.

“I’m proud of being a founding partner of KPCB China, and I’m grateful that I had the chance to work with first-class US partners and our Chinese team. I’ll continue to be directors at the companies I’m responsible for and will help a number of them to go IPO. I’m also considering launching a new fund,” Zhong said in his blog.

Michael Li, a partner at the firm, also left and has joined Chinese venture capital firm Tsing Capital as a partner.

“I have left KPCB China and officially joined Tsing Capital with more focus on investment in cleantech. I have learned a lot in the past years and was honoured to work with many experienced investors in Silicon Valley. I truly thank everyone who has helped and supported me, and I hope to work more closely with entrepreneurs and fellow investors,” Li said in his blog.

According to a spokeswoman for the firm, no direct replacement is planned for either of them.

Since joining KPCB China in April 2007, Zhong has led a number of investments including A8 Digital Music, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June 2008. Previously, he served as a director at JAFCO Asia for about four years. He also worked as the deputy general manager at China Aerospace International.

Li joined the firm in July 2009 and was focused on investments in the green technologies and TMT sectors. He previously worked as a partner at Pine Tree Equity, a US-based investment fund focused on distressed asset investment in Korea and China.

Last month, KPCB China appointed Victor Leung as a partner in its Shanghai office. Leung joined from Headland Capital Partners, formerly HSBC Private Equity Asia (HPEA), which completed its management buyout from the bank last November and re-emerged as Headland.

With offices in Shanghai and Beijing, KPCB China closed its maiden RMB-denominated fund on RMB600 million (€65 million; $90 million) in October last year. The firm’s first USD fund closed on $360 million in 2007.