In one of his landmark posts, Bill Burnham dissected SEC filings and other publicly available information to tell us Just How Much Did VCs Pocket On Google?
I recommend the reading to anyone interested in understanding VC exits, and to some extent, how profits are split in VC partnerships – unequally so.
As a reminder, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital invested $12.5M each in Google in 1999, for about 24M shares. Both funds have distributed a majority of these shares to their own investors, otherwise their investment would be worth $7.1B (at today’s closing price).
Because of the distributions of shares at "lower prices", Bill estimated the value of KP’s investment at $4.3B, i.e a multiple of 344x in 6 years. This is the number that will be used to calculate the performance of their $500M fund IX (?), which was returned multiple times with just that investment.
Sequoia Capital invested out of their $250M fund VII, and got similar returns (Bill could not track down the exact timing of distributions to Limited Partners).
In both cases, General Partners – whose carried interest is reportedly 30% – made at least $1B.
Not bad for backing something that started as "BackRub".