Andreessen Horowitz will soon cease to be a venture capital firm, veering away from the majority of its Sand Hill Road neighbors in Silicon Valley to instead become a registered investment advisor, or RIA.
The 10-year-old firm, founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, filed in March to become an RIA, as it seeks greater flexibility in its investments, particularly when it comes to cryptocurrencies, said Margit Wennmachers, an operating partner at the firm. Forbes first reported on the change.
Venture capital firms are limited in their ability to invest outside of the traditional start-up landscape, a market that's become inundated with record amounts of cash, thanks to massive funds like SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund. By becoming an RIA, Andreessen can put more money into areas like crypto, which often involves the purchase of tradeable coins as opposed to equity, and can more freely allow analysts in different areas to communicate with each other, rather than being walled off.
"As a firm, we have this massive ambition to be the best investor period, and want the flexibility to invest in what we think is the best investment," Wennmachers said.
Last year the firm raised its first crypto fund, with $300 million in capital committed. Wennmachers said that during the process of setting up that fund, Andreessen decided to register as an RIA. The change should become official this month, she said, after the 45-day processing period for the Securities and Exchange Commission.