Andreessen Horowitz's, Once Again, "Blows Up" the Venture Capital Model

In April, Forbes profiled the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, tracking the firm’s emergence from the 2009 financial crisis with a promise to “find a new generation of ‘megalomaniacal’ founders—ambitious, assertive, singularly focused—who would, in the mold of CEO Steve Jobs, use technology to ‘put a dent in the universe.’ “

Founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the article says, “laid out their campaign to take on Silicon Valley” and proceeded to do just that by buying stakes in Facebook and Twitter and creating a “war chest that swelled into the billions.” But now, the article reports, the team is taking a different tack., In an interview with Forbes, Andreessen argued that we are now in a “century of disagreeableness, ” and that challenging the status quo is the only path toward building billion-dollar companies.

As part of this path, the article reports, Andreessen Horowitz has decided to renounce its status as a venture capital firm and instead make the bold move of registering as a financial advisor—”a costly move requiring reviews of all 150 people.” By doing so, the article explains, the firm will be able to dig in on riskier bets: If it wants to “put $1 billion into cryptocurrency or buy unlimited amounts of shares in public companies or from other investors, it can.” The move is consistent with Andreessen’s reputation for upending the rules and reflects the firm’s belief that it will set them apart. “What else are feathers for?” he quipped, “They just like to get ruffled.”

Over the past decade, the article reports, Andreessen Horowitz has generated over $10 billion in estimated profits to its investors. “Over the next year or so,” it adds, “expect no less than five of its unicorns—Airbnb, Lyft, PagerDuty, Pinterest and Slack—to go public.”