Andreessen Horowitz Partners Pledge Half Their VC Income to Philanthropy
The six general partners of Andreessen Horowitz are taking on a modified version of Warren Buffett’s “Giving Pledge” for billionaires. Today, they’ve pledged to give at least half the income made from their venture capital careers to philanthropic causes, during their lifetimes.
This is something top VCs John Doerr and Mike Moritz have done personally, but AH is making a point of pledging as a firm.
As Ben Horowitz put it during a phone interview this morning, “When we started the firm three years ago, neither Marc nor I had a lot of fancy hobbies to do like playing polo, so we weren’t sure what we were going to do with the money if we were really successful anyways.”
Now, he said, “I think we’re getting a little more confident that we’ll return something and make some money.” AH said yesterday that it has returned $288 million of the first $300 million it raised from limited partners for its first fund.
Marc Andreessen added that he hoped other VC firms would join, as sort of a rehabilitation of venture capital’s public image. “Investing has become polarizing, which is kind of crazy given we think we’re in a field that actually adds to the positive,” he said.
To kick off the pledge, the six partners and their own partners have given a combined $1 million to six Silicon Valley non-profits, including the Ecumenical Hunger Program (Jeff and Karen Jordan) and the Shelter Network (Scott and Pamela Weiss).