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Andreessen Horowitz invests in both early-stage start-ups, which may raise just $50,000, and established growth companies, which often raise tens of millions of dollars. Its investments span the mobile, gaming, social, e-commerce, education and enterprise IT (including cloud computing, security, and software as a service) industries.
Founding and partnering
Marc Andreessen (left) and Ben Horowitz (right) are the company's founders.
Between 2006 and 2010, Andreessen and Horowitz actively invested in technology companies. Separately, and together, they invested $80 million in 45 start-ups including Twitter. During this time, the two became known as super angel investors.
On July 6, 2009, Andreessen and Horowitz launched their venture capital fund with an initial capitalization of $300 million. In November 2010, the company raised another $650 million for a second venture fund, at a time when the field of venture capitalism was contracting. In less than two years, the firm was managing a total of $1.2 billion under the two funds.
In May 2011, Andreessen Horowitz ranked as the number 1 venture capital firm by Investor Rank, based on the firm's networks and level of syndication with other venture firms. Andreessen ranked number 10 on the 2011 ForbesMidas List of Tech's Top Investors while he and Horowitz ranked number 6 on Vanity Fair's 2011 New Establishment List and number 1 on CNET's 2011 most influential investors list.
As of March 27, 2014, the firm managed $4 billion in assets after the closing of its fourth fund at $1.5 billion.
In 2009, Andreessen Horowitz made its two first investments: one in business management SaaS developer Apptio and the other in Skype stock. According to Horowitz, the investment was seen as risky by other experts in the field who believed the company would be crippled by ongoing intellectual property litigation and direct competitive attacks from Google and Apple. The company's founders viewed the investment as a success following Skype's sale to Microsoft in May 2011 for $8.5 billion.
In 2010, Andreessen Horowitz invested $10 million in cloud company Okta while leading its Series A Round. In 2011, Andreessen Horowitz invested $80 million in Twitter, becoming the first venture firm that held stock in all four of the highest-valued, privately held social media companies at the time: Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, and Zynga. Andreessen Horowitz has also invested in Airbnb, Lytro, Jawbone, Belly, Foursquare, Stripe and other high-tech companies.
Andreessen Horowitz partners work on behalf of all its portfolio companies, an approach modeled after the Hollywood talent agency, Creative Artists Agency. In 2010, the company hired Margit Wennmachers, a marketing executive at the partner level.
As of 2011, the firm had maintained a database of designers, coders, and executives and uses it to help fill positions at its start-ups. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers became a special advisor to Andreessen Horowitz in June 2011.
In September 2012, former Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty was appointed Andreessen Horowitz's second special advisor. Fenty was hired to advise the firm's portfolio companies on working with local, state, and federal governments.
In 2019, the firm applied to restructure as a registered investment adviser in order to have more freedom to take up riskier bets like crypto.