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Andreessen Horowitz has been a driving force in the tech world for quite a while now. From his founding of Xios to his role as the President of the Clubhouse, his influence has been incredibly broad. So when he announced that he would be joining Primack Axios, I knew that I had to check out his new company.
Clubhouse is a social networking app that allows users to create virtual rooms where they can talk to each other and listen to free-flowing conversations. It’s similar to podcasts. Users can move between conversations, raise their hand and chime in, or multitask while listening. The company recently closed a Series C funding round with investors including Tiger Global, DST Global and Andreessen Horowitz.
According to Axios, the round’s value was estimated at more than $100 million. There were several top-tier venture capital firms competing for the deal, including Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia Capital. However, Benchmark offered less than $100 million and was close to winning the Clubhouse round.
Meanwhile, Facebook is reportedly looking into the possibility of developing a live audio product. Discord also introduced a Stage Channel feature for its audio-only chat rooms.
Substack is a subscription-based service that has become a buzzworthy name in the content creation community. Its business model allows writers to connect with their audience on a more personal level. By allowing them to produce and sell content in a way that feels more like a traditional publisher, Substack is helping to pave the way for a new generation of professional writers.
Founded in 2017, Substack has managed to secure coverage in both the tech and traditional media communities. Their flagship product, the Substack service, provides a platform for writers to produce and distribute paid newsletters. The company has been successful at raising the eyebrows of both traditional and nontraditional investors. In the past two years, it has grown to a subscriber base of over 50,000.
Among Silicon Valley’s plethora of venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz is undoubtedly one of the more visible. Its most recent announcement was the launch of its first late-stage fund, raising a cool $2 billion. The firm also revealed Fund VI, a $750 million early-stage fund. However, the biggest news is that David George has just joined the firm as a principal. He’s also in charge of the firm’s new Growth investing team, tasked with driving the company’s growth aspirations forward.
David is no stranger to the venture capital world, having spent the past seven years at General Atlantic. His impressive resume includes investments in the likes of Airbnb, AppDynamics, and Slack. In his short tenure at General Atlantic, he’s managed to make some notable investments of his own, including a $620 million growth-investment bet in fintech startup Cross River.
The Future of Andreessen Horowitz is a new tech publication from the venture capital firm. The website features articles written by the staff of Andreessen Horowitz as well as outside contributors. There will also be podcasts and a Clubhouse room for guests. Initially, the site will avoid social commentary and political debate. It will instead be an optimistic look at the technology.
Axios’ Dan Primack interviewed Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of a16z, on his new publication. Previously, he worked at Fortune and Reuters. He summarized 10 items from the interview on Axios AM.
One thing that seems to be common amongst the editorial hires for the Future site is that they are taking the project seriously. Unlike Mike Allen’s Axios AM, where deal flow and a16z’s worldview color the content, the Future site will be largely non-interview based. Ultimately, the Future site will not be a source of investigative reporting, but it will serve as an aggregation point for the technical information that the Andreessen Horowitz team wants to share.
In the first week of January, Clubhouse, an audio social network, gained two million users. The site is said to be the cross between Slack and sports talk radio, and a recent round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz was a big boost. But the company hasn’t revealed how much money it raised. It did, however, announce a deal with the VC firm, which has committed $12 million in funding. A spokesperson for Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment on the deal, but the firm has a team of seven people focused on the project.
Clubhouse also has launched a monetization program for creators, which could spur usage and increase its revenue. Andreessen Horowitz is also in advanced talks to lead a huge funding round for Yuga Labs, a startup that is building a smart TV. Although it hasn’t yet formally announced a new fund, it’s a sign that the VC firm is willing to invest in a variety of startups.