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What Andreessen Horowitz’s recent hiring surge says about the venture capital investor

September 9, 2021, 3:34 PM UTC

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Andreessen Horowitz has made itself into a premier venture capital investing shop on Sand Hill Road.

And recently, it’s been hiring what seems like just about everyone.

Wednesday marked a flurry of Twitter announcements of new blood for the firm: Jane Lippencott, a former associate at Winklevoss Capital, announced her entry as a partner to the crypto team on Wednesday, while Joe Schmidt IV announced his onboarding to the firm’s fintech investing practice. 

Outside of investing space, it also added Brian Quintenz, former Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as an advisory partner, while Mike Manning revealed he too would be joining the crypto team as well as a communications partner.

And just to really drive the point home, this all comes after former Intel CEO Bob Swan joined as a growth operating partner to identify new investments and to serve on boards as announced in July, David Haber as the firm’s “first full-time [general partner] in Manhattan” in June, and Sriram Krishnan as a general partner in February.

This spurt of hiring speaks to what a16z is—and that is big. 

By a count of the company’s Team page, 69 people are currently on its investing team, already sizable for a venture capital firm, but the list goes on when including teams that help with hiring, marketing, operations, as well as operations of the firm’s own portfolio companies. It lists 13 on its capital network team (which helps companies with M&A and fundraising), 29 for its go-to-market network, 21 for its talent network, 18 for people practices, 23 in marketing, 88 in on its operations team, some seven board partners, and six special advisers. Quintenz does not seem to have a headshot on the website yet, tallying up for a grand total of about 261 people.

And based on a conversation with General Partner Martin Casado about the firm’s first dedicated seed fund, don’t be surprised to see more operating staff hired to help a16z’s portfolio companies build from scratch.

This strategy is not new exactly—if anything, this kind of venture capital firm as an organization rather than a small investing partnership, is something a16z is known for. In some ways, it can be a plus for deal acquisitions to portfolio companies that are seeking help to build up their business: Yay! Your investor comes with a built-in scaling machine! Though as the trend of solo capitalists has shown, such a large organization is not always what a founder wants from an investor. And there’s also the question of if it is cost-efficient for a venture capital firm to become so large. But no doubt, a16z is doing something that typically has not been applied to the venture investing model. Here’s a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen explaining what he sees the firm becoming in a June podcast episode with Patrick O’Shaunghnessy:

“I call it HP 2.0, Hewlett Packard 2.0.,” said Andreessen, dubbing HP as the founding company of Silicon Valley. In its glory days, HP, he notes, had a pool of talent creating products that would be supported by the central office that had relationships with large companies and could help with branding. “​​Can we construct the modern equivalent of what would have been that HP central office from like 1960, and provide our companies with that kind of overlay capability, with all of that reinforcement and brand and help and power that you would have had as a division of HP?”

In short: In 2011, Andreessen famously penned the essay, “Why Software is Eating the World” for the Wall Street Journal.

A decade later, it seems like Andreessen Horowitz is eating the tech world.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: 
@shenlucinda
Email: 
lucinda.shen@fortune.com

Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO and SPAC sections of this newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- Cao Cao Mobility, the ride-hailing unit of Chinese automaker Geely Automobile, raised $589 million (RMB 3.8 billion) in Series B funding. Suzhou Xiangcheng Financial Holding Group, an investment company backed by the Xiangcheng district government of Suzhou, led the round.

- Solugen, a Houston-based decarbonization startup, raised $350 million. GIC and Baillie Gifford led the round and was joined by investors including Temasek Holdings, BlackRock, Carbon Direct Capital Management, Refactor Capital, and Fifty Years.

- InBrace, an Irvine, Calif.-based maker of behind-the-teeth braces, raised $102 million in Series D funding. Farallon Capital Management and Marshall Wace led the round and was joined by investors including BlackRock, Endeavour Vision, MVM Partners, RTW Investments, and Soleus Capital.

- Addi, a Bogota and Sao Paulo-based commerce startup, raised $75 million. Greycroft led the round and was joined by investors including GGV Capital, Citius Capital, Intersection Growth Partners, as well as existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Citius VC, Endeavor Catalyst, Foundation Capital, Monashees, and Quona Capital. 

- Flo, a London-based app for period and cycle tracking, raised $50 million in Series B funding. VNV Global and Target Global led the round.

- iECURE, a Philadelphia-based gene editing company, raised $50 million in Series A funding. Versant Ventures and OrbiMed Advisors led the round.

- Printify, a print on demand company, raised $45 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including H&M Group and Virgin Group.

- PetMedix, a U.K.-based animal health company, raised $37 million (£27 million) in Series B funding. Tencent and Kyoritsu Holdings led the round and was joined by investors including Digitalis Ventures, Parkwalk Advisors, and Cambridge Innovation Capital. 

- Neat, a video device company, raised $30 million from Zoom Video, valuing it at $640 million.

- TrueFort, a Weehawken, N.J.-based cybersecurity company, raised $30 million in Series B funding. Shasta Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Canaan, Ericsson Ventures, Evolution Equity Partners, Lytical Ventures, and Emerald Development Managers

- Batmaid, a Swiss home cleaner matching company, raised a €23 million Series B from Aevis Victoria.

- Nuula, a Canadian fintech focused on small businesses, raised $20 million in equity funding. Edison Partners led the round.

- A-Alpha Bio, a Seattle-based biotech, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Madrona Venture Group led the round and was joined by investors including Perceptive Advisors’ Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund, and Lux Capital. 

- Fin, a San Francisco-based work insights platform, raised $20 million in Series A funding. Coatue led the round and was joined by investors including First Round Capital, Accel, and Kleiner Perkins.  

- DotCom Therapy, a Madison, Wis.-based pediatric teletherapy provider, raised $13 million in Series A funding. New Capital Partners led the round and was joined by investors including LRVHealth and OSF Ventures.

- Smartwyre, a Denver-based agriculture pricing and insights company, raised $10.5 million in Series A funding. High Alpha Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Anterra Capital, Fall Line Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest fund, and Cavallo Ventures.

- Honey Mama's, a Portland-based maker of treats, raised $10.3 million. Amberstone led the round.

- Neuroglee Therapeutics, a Boston-based therapeutics and virtual care solution focused on neurodegenerative diseases, raised $10 million in Series A funding. Openspace Ventures and EDBI led the round.

- Lean, a California-based startup with financial products for gig workers, raised a $4.5 million seed round. Inspired Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Atelier Ventures, Oceans Ventures, and Acequia Capital.

- Toya, an Israel-based Roblox-focused gaming studio, raised $4 million. Drive by DraftKings led the round and was joined by investors including Remagine Ventures and Powerhouse Capital.

- Tempus Ex Machina, a San Francisco-based tech and data company for sports and entertainment company, raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding. Silver Lake and Endeavor invested.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Acquia, backed by Vista Equity Partners, acquired Widen, a Madison, Wis.-based asset management platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Alera Group, backed by Genstar Capital, agreed to merge with Propel Insurance Agency, a Tacoma, Wash.-based property and casualty insurance company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Bradford Health Services, backed by Centre Partners, acquired Cornerstone of Recovery, a Tennessee-based substance use disorder treatment provider. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- BrandMaker, a portfolio company of Rubicon Technology Partners, acquired Hive9, a Austin-based marketing management solutions company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Bain Capital Double Impact invested in Cotopaxi, a Cottonwood Heights, Ut.-based outdoor gear and apparel brand. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Cambridge Capital invested in Everest Transportation Systems, an Evanstan, Ill.-based freight brokerage firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Compass Diversified acquired Lugano Diamonds & Jewelry, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based jewelry maker. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Class Valuation, backed by Gridiron Capital, acquired Pendo Management, a Lee’s Summit, Mo.-based appraisal management company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- ​​Fencing Supply Group, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, acquired Capitol Wholesale Fence Company, a Nashville-based fencing supplier. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- High Street Capital acquired NeoSystems, a Tysons Corner, Va.-based outsourcer and IT systems company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Thoma Bravo invested in Intel 471, a cyber threat intelligence company for enterprises and governments. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Silver Oak Services Partners recapitalized Drive Automotive Services, an Atlanta-based automotive repair shops operator. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Silver Lake will invest in Clubessential Holdings, a Cincinnati-based membership management software company, alongside existing investor Battery Ventures. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Pritzker Private Capital invested in NAI Group, a Troy, Mich.-based maker of connectivity solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Alete Active Nutrition, backed by American Pacific Group, acquired Bonk Breaker Nutrition, a nutrition brand. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXIT

- Guidehouse, a portfolio company of Veritas Capital, agreed to acquire Dovel Technologies, a McLean, Va.-based information technology company and portfolio company of Macquarie Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Patient Square Capital agreed to acquire Summit BHC, a Tennessee-based provider of substance use disorder and acute psychiatric care, from FFL Partners and Lee Equity Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- Perrigo agreed to acquire HRA Pharma, a Chatillon, Ill.-based consumer self-care company, valuing it at €1.8 billion, or approximately $2.1 billion in cash.

- Citizens Financial (NYSE: CFG) will acquire JMP Group (NYSE: JMP), a San Francisco-based investment bank, for $149 million in cash.

IPO

- DiCE Molecules, a South San Francisco, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company, plans to raise up to $170 million in an offering of 10 million shares priced between $15 and $17 per share. The company posted $863,000 in revenue in 2020 and a net loss of $23.7 million. RA Capital, Northpond Ventures, and Sands Capital back the firm.

- Tyra Biosciences, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based cancer therapy company, plans to raise up to $107.2 million in an offering of 6.7 million shares priced between $14 and $16 per share. The company reported a net loss of $9.3 million in 2020 and has yet to post revenue. Alta Partners, RA Capital, and Boxer Capital back the firm.

SPAC

- Packable, the operator of Islandia, N.Y.-based e-commerce marketplace Pharmapacks, plans to go public via a merger with Highland Transcend Partners I Corp., a SPAC, according to Reuters. A deal values the company at $1.55 billion. Carlyle Group backs the firm.

F+FS

- Alpine Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, raised about $2.3 billion for Alpine Investors VIII.

- TrueBridge Capital Partners, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based private market investor, closed its first venture capital fund-of-funds focused on seed and micro-VC firms, with $170 million.

PEOPLE

- Tola Capital, a venture capital firm, added Phil Sorgen as a venture partner.

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