Visible Path Finds Friend in KP

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture firm that anointed online social networking with its investment in, has blessed another similar startup.

This time around, KPCB Partner Ray Lane led a $3.7 million Series A deal for New York-based Visible Path Corp. and joined the company’s board of directors.

Visible Path makes an enterprise software system that maps you and your work colleagues. The idea is that a company is more likely to close a deal or make a sale though a personal contact – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Visible Path’s technology can sift through contact lists to first establish who someone in accounting might know, then weighs how strong that relationship is by calculating the number and frequency of electronic contact between them. Then the software maps the connection.

Privacy, of course, is a major concern. A user can join Visible Path only if he responds to an invitation, and even then, users can designate which items and applications the system can scan for contacts. Only the user can access personal contact and relationship information.

Currently the system is deployed at a limited number of potential customer sites. It will likely be released onto the marker later this year.

Visibly Path will use this round of funding to expand its technology platform and Web services.

The company was founded in October 2002.