California-based Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a stage-agnostic venture capital firm, announced on Sunday, June 11 that it will open its first international office in London later this year.
The VC also announced that it is planning the next Crypto Startup School accelerator programme in the UK in Spring 2024.
a16z Crypto: Supporting blockchain technologies and startups
The programme aims to attract UK and international entrepreneurs to build web3 startups in the UK.
The company says its UK office will allow it to work closely with universities throughout the UK to provide talent and support to develop blockchain clubs. It will also encourage blockchain-related curriculum.
The London office, scheduled to open later this year, will be led by General Partner Sriram Krishnan.
To date, a16z Crypto has invested in UK-based crypto companies such as Arweave, Aztec, and Improbable.
Chris Dixon, a16z crypto founder and managing partner, says, “The UK has deep pools of talent, world-leading academic institutions, and a strong entrepreneurial culture.”
“Following a productive dialogue with the Prime Minister, and months of constructive conversations with HM Treasury, UK policymakers, and the Financial Conduct Authority, we’re thrilled to open our first international office in a jurisdiction that welcomes blockchain technology and is committed to creating a predictable business environment by pursuing regulations that both embrace web3 and protect consumers,” adds Dixon.
The US VC claims the CSS programme attracted more than 8,000 applicants with the final 26 companies chosen receiving investments from a16z, mentorship from industry experts, and the opportunity to participate in a Demo Day that reaches investors at the end of the course.
Participants came from a range of countries including the UK, the US, India, Germany, France, Argentina, Ecuador, and Canada.
Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister, says, “As we cement the UK’s place as a science and tech superpower, we must embrace innovations like Web3, powered by blockchain technology. This will enable startups to flourish here and grow the economy.”
“That success is founded on having the right regulation and guardrails in place to protect consumers and foster innovation. While there’s still work to do, I’m determined to unlock opportunities for this technology and turn the UK into the world’s Web3 centre.”
“That’s why I am thrilled world-leading investor, Andreessen Horowitz, has decided to open their first international office in the UK – which is a testament to our world-class universities and talent and our strong competitive business environment,” says Sunak.
Investment in Gensyn
Andreessen Horowitz also announced investment in UK-based Gensyn, leading a $43M round.
Founded by computer science and machine learning research veterans Ben Fielding and Harry Grieve, Gensyn’s decentralised compute protocol will enable developers to build state-of-the-art AI systems on any connected hardware.
Their novel cryptographic verification system allows users to trust that the protocol’s machine learning work was completed correctly.
Andreessen Horowitz: What you need to know
Based out of California, Andreessen Horowitz (known as a16z) is a stage-agnostic venture capital firm with multiple funds, including the Bio funds, the Crypto funds, and the Cultural Leadership Fund.
Andreessen Horowitz invests in seed to late-stage technology companies across the consumer, enterprise, bio/healthcare, crypto, and fintech spaces.