Andreessen Venture Funds Succeed Modestly

In an Andrew Ross Sorkin column, Sean Parker urged successful entrepreneurs to become serial entrepreneurs, rather than to semi-retire as venture capitalists. In that column, Marc Andreessen was quoted as sympathizing with Parker’s view.

(p. A1) Andreessen Horowitz’s first three venture funds have nearly doubled their investment capital or better since inception, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that provide a rare look at the performance of one of Silicon Valley’s top venture-capital firms.
But an analysis of its returns, compared with funds from top rivals and industry averages, shows that Andreessen Horowitz hasn’t yet earned its reputation as an elite firm.
The firm, co-founded by web pioneer Marc Andreessen in 2009, is routinely mentioned among the pantheon of great startup investors with the likes of Sequoia Capital, a status that has allowed it to command higher fees than some of its peers.
Sequoia has separated itself from the pack thanks to its consistently high returns. Its 2003 and 2006 venture funds have both risen eightfold net of fees, according to a person familiar with the matter.
. . .
(p. A2) Venture-capital firms raise money from universities, pension funds and other institutions to wager on startups. They typically raise a new fund every few years, operating a handful at the same time with each expected to wind down after 10 years.
Though they fall short of their top-notch rivals, all three Andreessen Horowitz funds–whose bets include Instagram, Airbnb and Pinterest Inc.–have outperformed the average of venture funds raised in the same years, according to benchmark data from investment adviser Cambridge Associates. The earliest fund, raised in 2009, ranks in the top 5% of venture funds from that year; the second fund, raised in 2010, ranks in the top 50%; and the third from 2012 ranks in the top 25%.

For the full story, see:
Winkler, Rolfe. “Andreessen’s Venture Firm Trails Rivals.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., Sept. 2, 2016): A1-A2.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article has the date Sept. 1, 2016, and had the title “Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns Trail Venture-Capital Elite.”)

The views of Sean Parker and Marc Andreessen on venture capital, that I mention at the top, are summarized in:
Sorkin, Andrew Ross. “Dealbook; Taking a Risk, and Hoping That Lightning Strikes Twice.” The New York Times (Tues., July 24, 2012): B1 & B4.

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