Andreessen Horowitz (also called a16z) is a private American venture capital firm, founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. The company is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.
Founding and partnering
Marc Andreessen (left) and Ben Horowitz (right) are the company's founders.
Between 2006 and 2010, Andreessen and Horowitz were active investors in technology companies. Separately and together, they invested $80 million in 45 start-ups such as Twitter. During that time, the two became well 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 had a total of $1.2 billion under management in 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 Forbes Midas 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 is managing $4 billion in assets with the closing of its fourth fund at $1.5 billion.
In addition to Andreessen and Horowitz, the firm's general partners include John O'Farrell, Scott Weiss, Jeff Jordan, Peter Levine, Chris Dixon, Lars Dalgaard, Vijay Pande, Alex Rampell, and Martin Casado.
In August 2009, Andreessen Horowitz made its first investment, backing technology business management SaaS developer Apptio. In September 2009 the firm invested $50 million for 2 percent of Skype stock. The investment was largely seen as risky because many believed Skype would be crippled by intellectual property litigation (initiated by Skype's founders) and direct competitive attacks from Google and Apple. "When we bought the company from eBay, many thought that Skype, like so many acquired technology companies, had lost its technical talent," Horowitz told The Wall Street Journal. "Through our research, we found that Skype had a core group of engineers who were completely dedicated to the mission. They stayed through the eBay acquisition and were hugely determined to make Skype the communications company of the future." The gambit paid off when Skype was sold to Microsoft in May 2011 for $8.5 billion.
In February 2010, Andreessen Horowitz invested $10 million in cloud company Okta while leading its Series A Round, the firm's first investment in the cloud software space.
In February 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 and other high-tech companies.
Andreessen Horowitz invests both in early-stage start-ups, which may raise just $50,000, and established growth companies, which often raise tens of millions of dollars. The firm is currently invested in 156 companies, which includes its own portfolio of 90 companies and 66 start-ups through its funding of Y Combinator's Start Fund. Andreessen Horowitz's investments span the mobile, gaming, social, e-commerce, education and enterprise IT (including cloud computing, security, and software as a service) industries.
In 2013, Andreessen Horowitz invested in startups uBiome, Soylent, Oculus VR, Ripple, Coinbase, Pixlee, One Month, Clinkle and PagerDuty.
In August 2013, the firm also invested in website search startup Swiftype.
Former Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz and the media corporation Bloomberg L.P. are Andreessen Horowitz investors.
In May 2014, the firm led a $57 million Series B round in the A/B testing startup Optimizely.
The firm invested $90 million in the security and systems management company Tanium in June 2014.
In August 2014, the firm invested $50 million in Buzzfeed.
On 20 January 2015, it was announced the firm invested $40 million in Stack Exchange and a $2.8 million investment in Distelli.
In September 2015, the firm led a $80 million Series D round in cloud-based CAD software company Onshape and a $57 million Series B round in blogging platform Medium.
In March 2015, the firm invested $20 million in London-based company, Improbable. The investment was the firm's second in the UK.
In April 2015, the firm invested $15 million in Honor, Inc.. 
In June 2015, A16Z partnered with Union Square Ventures to invest $1 million in a blockchain startup OpenBazaar, a decentralised platform for P2P trade with Bitcoin.
In November 2015, the firm led a Seed round in agile performance management platform Reflektive.
In December 2015, the firm led a $2 million Series Seed round in nootropics and biohacking company Nootrobox.
In January 2016, the firm led an $8.1 million Series A round in Everlaw, a legal technology company.
In November 2016, the firm led a $3.5 million Series Seed round in RapidAPI, an API connection platform for developers.
In January 2017, the firm invested in Sigma as part of a $4.35 million seed round.
In June 2017, the firm led a $65 million Series C round in Cadre, a real estate startup.
In November 2017, the firm led $34.6 million Series C round in Health IQ, a health insurance startup.
In December 2017, the firm invested $4.7 million in seed funding for Asimov, a "genetic circuits" startup.
Andreessen Horowitz has been involved in selling or helping the following companies go public while having an invested interest:
- Groupon, IPO, 2011
- Instagram, acquired, 2012
- Skype, acquired, 2011
- Zynga, IPO, 2011
- Nicira, acquired, 2012
- Silver Tail Systems, acquired, 2012
- Oculus VR, acquired, 2014 
The firm is structured differently from most other venture capital firms in several ways. Instead of having general partners who specialize in a specific industry, each Andreessen Horowitz partner works on behalf of all its portfolio companies, an approach modeled after the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency. Andreessen Horowitz helps start-ups it invests in with everything from recruiting to public relations. Margit Wennmachers, a marketing veteran who joined Andreessen Horowitz in 2010, is among the few venture capital marketing executives at the partner level. The firm has developed a database of top designers, coders, and executives and uses it to help fill positions at its start-ups. Andreessen Horowitz has 11 staff members (as of September 2011) dedicated to recruiting, which is unusual for a VC firm.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers became a special advisor to Andreessen Horowitz in June 2011. Summers works with the firm's portfolio companies that are seeking existing market restructuring and global expansion. In September 2012, former Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty was appointed Andreessen Horowitz's second special advisor. Fenty advises the firm's portfolio companies on working with local, state, and federal governments.
Andreessen Horowitz produces the a16z Podcast and distributes it online through the firm's SoundCloud Page. The podcast features the firm's partners and associates covering technology news through open conversations and interviews with guests. Multiple episodes are released every week.
The podcast features regular appearances from the firm's team such as Sonal Chokshi, Michael Copeland, Frank Chen, Benedict Evans, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. Notable guests include Clayton M. Christensen, Eric Ries, Yuval Harari, and Arianna Huffington.
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