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Andreessen Horowitz sets eyes on Indian startups, plans to invest $500M

Marc Andreessen
Marc Andreessen

Andreessen Horowitz, which made its first investment in India last year, is hoping to expand its footprint in the world’s second-largest internet market.

The venture finance company located in Silicon Valley has set aside $500M to support Indian startups.

In October 2021, Andreessen Horowitz which is also known as a16z made the initial investment in CoinSwitch Kuber, spearheading a $260M funding round that helped the crypto firm become India’s second crypto unicorn.

According to a report, numerous partners in the business, including Seema Amble and Sumeet Singh, have been involved with multiple Indian startups in recent months.

Last year, the firm led a capital round in Bengaluru-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinSwitch Kuber, and it is now hiring for numerous investment opportunities in the country.

Andreessen Horowitz reported in January that its venture, growth, and bio funds had raised $9B.

Looking for investments

a16z is now looking into investing in an Indian firm that runs an opinion exchange platform with a valuation of over $250M. A Bengaluru-based early-stage fintech startup is also in negotiations with the VC firm.

If a16z follows ahead with the proposal, it will be the latest high-profile investor to get engaged in India, which is home to 100 unicorns and where digital titans Google, Facebook, and Amazon have combined invested at least $20B over the last decade.

In the form of Open, India has just spawned its 100th unicorn, and if the deal goes through, a16z will join a long line of high-profile investors interested in India’s growth story.

For years, the company has been researching markets such as India, and it has been transparent about the challenges of entering new markets.

Marc Andreessen (shown above), co-founder and general partner of a16z, claimed it was “very enticing” to back businesses in emerging markets in a discussion at Stanford Graduate School of Business six years ago. However, expanding into other countries was difficult for a venture fund, he noted. “A really hands-on method of understanding the individuals you’re working with for both evaluating the company and working with the company,” says one venture capitalist.

Andreessen Horowitz has a number of competitors in India, including Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Accel Partners. Since their initial foray into the Indian market, all three have raised or are in the process of raising country-specific financing.

In the last two years, a number of organisations, including Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Insight Partners, B Capital, Ribbit Capital, Dragoneer, D1 and James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree (who previously invested in India through Lupa), have accelerated their investments in India.

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