Kleiner Perkins Gets a Piece of Facebook

There’s so much action going on in Facebook right now, you’d think the company’s public. But, it’s not. Goldman Sachs has taken a piece of the company for $450 million and made a hefty amount available to its investors. The company is looking into the prospect of helping its employees unload another billion dollars worth of stock. Along the way, Facebook’s pre-IPO valuation has soared up to $50 billion with the employee-related transaction likely to put the company’s overall price at $60 billion. And now, one of the biggest venture capital players in the business is taking a taste.

Renowned VC Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers just picked up a small piece of Facebook, according to the Wall Street Journal. Kleiner Perkins missed a chance to play several years ago – at a much lower valuation and, ostensibly, with a much greater upside. The company that backed Amazon, Google and Netscape – once upon a time – has finally found its way to the hottest company in the social media space. The investment, $38 million, is said to come from the firm’s $750 million debut digital growth fund, according to the Wall Street Journal report. At least half the investment has been closed.

Kleiner Perkins is investing at a valuation of $52 billion, up a bit from the $50 billion mark used by Goldman Sachs but still below the level being pursued for the prospective sale of employee stock. The fund will own less than 1 percent of Facebook in this deal, “suggesting the deal is more of a vanity investment than a major return generator,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

The digital growth fund has put $253 million in capital into play so far, investing in five companies, including Groupon and Twitter.