Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

After Some Flashy Investing, Is Andreessen Horowitz's Next Move a Big New Fund?

Since it launched almost exactly a year ago with a $300 million fund, the venture firm of Andreessen Horowitz has cut a rather high-profile path through the Silicon Valley investing community.

And it’s clear the firm has been aiming to make a big splash in the sector–from its involvement in the fractious fight over the spin-off of Skype to its funding of a series of high-profile start-ups (Zynga, Asana, Kno and Rockmelt) to its most recent aggressive moves to finally win the top spot in investing in hot social location site Foursquare.

Now, according to sources and after spending about half its kitty, Andreessen Horowitz is poised to begin another round of fundraising to further bolster its clout.

While it is unclear how much the VC firm will raise, sources expect it to be much more than its first fund.

In its last go-round, the firm had a quick completion of the fund raising, in the midst of a national econalypse. So many assume the next try will be a lot easier, especially given its knack for grabbing hot deals.

A spokeswoman for Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment on future fundraising plans.

The firm is going to need the money as it expands its partners and ambitions to change the venture landscape, as iconic entrepreneur Marc Andreessen noted when he founded the firm with his longtime business partner Ben Horowitz in July of 2009.

Andreessen said then that he was essentially professionalizing the active angel investing that he and Horowitz had been doing.

Over the last several years, either together or apart, the pair have invested in a large variety of innovative start-ups, such as Twitter, Aliph, Digg, LinkedIn and many more.

Andreessen is on the board of Facebook and an adviser to Twitter too.

In an interview with me last year, Andreessen said that unlike many VC firms, Andreessen Horowitz will invest in companies at any stage of life–from early stage to late–and of any size and in any kind of digital sector and will focus on companies led by tech-savvy founders.

He also expressed a disdain for the way the venture business was run.

“For the first time in my life, I am crossing over into the dark side,” said Andreessen at the time, in a joke about VCs being like Darth Vader.

At the time, he also noted that money talked. “It’s important to have more capital,” he said. “Sometimes having a huge checkbook is a great thing.”

Well, we’ll see if Andreessen Horowitz can make that checkbook even larger.

Until then, here is a tally of investments that Andreessen Horowitz has made so far, sourced from the firm, split up into categories and size of investment round the firm participated in with other investors. The firm declined to provide the exact amount of their participation in each investment.

It should be noted that Andreessen’s and Horowitz’s previous individual investments in some of these companies are not identified here:

Board

Kno: tablet device for students; $7.5 million
Nicira: cloud infrastructure software; $13 million
Okta: cloud app management; $750,000
Proferi: analytic applications; $2 million
Rockmelt; desktop browser for Facebook; unknown funding
Skype: Web telephony; $50 million

Passive

Apptio: IT cost transparency solutions; $14 million
Asana: enterprise collaboration; $9 million
Boku: mobile online payments; unknown funding
Digg: social media and content; unknown funding
Foursquare: social location; $20 million
Fusion I/O: enterprise I/O solutions; $45 million
Tiny Speck: social gaming; $5 million
Zynga: social gaming; $180 million

Seed

Burbn; social location; $500,000
Canvas Networks: image boards; $625,000
Factual: structured data; $1 million
GoodData: cloud-based collaborative analytics; $2.5 million
Quantifind; enterprise; unknown funding
RethinkDB: database storage; $1.2 million
Mixed Media Labs: photo sharing; $370,000
SnapLogic: open-source enterprise data integration; $2.3 million
TopProspect: social recruiting; unknown funding
Vikkii: user-generated subtitling; unknown funding
Ze Frank Games: online gaming; unknown funding

And here are video interviews BoomTown has done with both Andreessen and Horowitz in the last year on their investing theories:


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google