VC firm Andreessen Horowitz to debut new media property


By Sarah McBride and Katie Roof

Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist who declared in a newspaper editorial a decade ago that “software is eating the world,” would now like to take a bite of the news publishing business.

His venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, said it will introduce a new digital media property this year featuring articles by its partners and outside voices. The effort marks an expansion of a long-held ambition by the investment firm to build its own audience around editorials and podcasts advocating the Silicon Valley and entrepreneurial ways of life.

“We want to be the go-to place for understanding and building the future, for anyone who is building, making, or curious about tech,” Margit Wennmachers, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in a blog post on the firm’s website Monday. The forthcoming publication will be separate from Andreessen Horowitz’s site, she wrote.

Andreessen, a founder of the web browser Netscape, started his namesake venture firm in 2009. It had an immediate impact in the Valley by showing a willingness to outbid rivals for stakes in the hottest startups, including Airbnb Inc., Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and WhatsApp. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, was an early investor in Andreessen Horowitz deals.

Andreessen’s widely circulated opinion piece about software in the Wall Street Journal gave him a taste for thought leadership. The firm has expressed an interest in producing media of its own since at least 2013, when it hired Michael Copeland, an editor from Wired, to lead a new “content strategy.” Sonal Chokshi joined from Wired the next year and remains editor in chief at the venture firm.

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To help drive the latest expansion, Andreessen Horowitz hired Maggie Leung as an executive editor. She joins from Nerdwallet, a personal finance startup, and was previously an editor at CNN. Andreessen Horowitz will bring an optimistic view of technology to its media effort and offer a counterbalance to the intense public scrutiny facing some of the firm’s most lucrative investments, such as Twitter and Facebook, where Andreessen retains a board seat.

In a sign that Andreessen Horowitz is still willing to pay top dollar for buzzy startups, a social network called Clubhouse said Sunday that the firm led its newest round of funding. Clubhouse has a small but devoted audience of techies who use the app to participate in or listen to audio-only debates. Terms of the deal, which were reported earlier Monday by Axios, value the business at about $1 billion, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private.





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