Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and former Opsware chief executive Ben Horowitz have raised a new US$1.5bn venture capital (VC) fund via their VC firm Andreessen Horowitz as part of their quest to continue targeting high-growth technology companies. The fund is one of the biggest in recent VC industry history, according to the National Venture Capital Association in the US.
Based in Menlo Park, California, Andreessen Horowitz has already made growth investments in 90 companies, including the likes of Facebook, Zynga, Twitter, Skype, Groupon and Jawbone.
Incidentally, Andreessen Horowitz looks set to profit from the imminent Facebook IPO. In addition, Marc Andreessen himself has personally invested in Facebook and joined the company’s board of directors in 2008.
It was back in 2009 that the duo first announced they were setting up the VC firm to fund technology start-ups with investments ranging from $50,000 to $50m. Since Andreessen Horowitz launched, it has raised US$2.7bn.
The third fund announced by Andreessen Horowitz yesterday is valued at U$1.5bn and can be used immediately.
"Software is the catalyst that will remake entire industries during the next decade. We are single-mindedly focused on partnering with the best innovators pursuing the biggest markets," said Andreessen in a statement yesterday.
And Horowitz posted on his blog yesterday about why and how such a new venture capital firm raised so much money.
"We are uniquely positioned to help the greatest technology entrepreneurs in the world build the best technology companies in the world, and that’s just what we’re going to do," said Horowitz.
Ireland’s technology potential
On the Irish front, Irishman John O’Farrell, is also a partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Back in November O’Farrell was in Ireland for the Dublin Web Summit. At the time he spoke of Ireland’s technology potential.
Said O’Farrell: "I have met some interesting companies … It is really important, particularly for a small market like Ireland to focus on gigantic markets up front and that usually means the US.
“Having a Silicon Valley and Irish presence is better than being pure Ireland-based, so maybe put your management team or some of them out in the Valley where they can tap into that ecosystem and put their development back here – that would be a model that can work and become very big," he added.