Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen, born on July 9, 1971, is an American businessman and software engineer. He co-authored Mosaic, the first widely used web browser with a graphical user interface, and co-founded Netscape. He is a Co-founder and General Partner at , a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Andreesen also founded Opsware, later sold to Hewlett-Packard, and co-founded Ning, a platform for social networking websites. [1][2]



After earning a bachelor's degree in computer science in 1993, Andreessen relocated to Silicon Valley, California, where he joined a small company specializing in security products for electronic commerce. He was later approached by James Clark, founder and former president of Silicon Graphics, Inc., who sought a new venture.

Together, they founded Mosaic Communications Corporation in April 1994 (later renamed Netscape Communications). Andreessen enlisted the original creators of Mosaic and embarked on developing a powerful software initially named Mozilla (Mosaic Killer). This software launched commercially as Netscape Navigator, dominated the web browser market, capturing over 75% of the market share by mid-1996.

Netscape's primary goal was to facilitate global information exchange for individuals and businesses. As vice president of technology, Andreessen played a pivotal role in shaping the company's technical direction, anticipating the transformative impact of the impending "bandwidth tidal wave" on the wireless communications industry. In 1996, Netscape reported revenues of $55 million, coinciding with Andreessen's appearance on the cover of Time magazine.

Netscape was acquired in 1999 for $4.3 billion by AOL (America Online, Inc.). Andreessen's hiring as its chief technology officer was contingent on the completion of the acquisition. The same year, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. [3]


Following AOL's acquisition of Netscape in late 1998, Andreessen co-founded Opsware with Ben Horowitz, Tim Howes, and In Sik Rhee. Originally known as Loudcloud, the company provided computing, hosting, and software services to consumer-facing internet and e-commerce companies. Loudcloud later sold its hosting division to EDS and rebranded as Opsware in 2003, with Andreessen assuming the role of Chairman.

In 2007, Hewlett-Packard acquired Opsware for $1.6 billion, making it one of the pioneers in software as a service and cloud hosting. [4]


In October 2004, Andreessen and Gina Bianchini established Ning, a social networking platform allowing users to create personalized networks based on their interests, with Andreessen serving as chairman of the company. In September 2011, Marc Andreessen announced that Glam Media was buying the social network with Marc joining Glam’s board as part of the deal and the final price remained undisclosed. [5][3]

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)

Between 2005 and 2009, Andreessen and longtime business partner Ben Horowitz separately invested a total of $80 million in 45 start-ups that included Twitter and Qik. The two became well-known as super angel investors. On July 6, 2009, Andreessen and Horowitz saw an opportunity to create a venture capital firm and announced their Silicon Valley venture capital firm, with the backing of influential Silicon Valley figures such as Ron Conway and Peter Thiel. [6]

They started with the mission statement: "We are Andreesen Horowitz and we are 100% focused on helping the greatest tech entrepreneurs build the best tech companies". [6]

Early Investment & Notable Successes


In 2010, a year after its founding, Andreessen Horowitz invested $80 million in Facebook. At the time, Facebook was already a social media giant but this investment was proof of the firm's vision and willingness to bet on tech companies with growth potential. [7]


In 2011, Andreessen Horowitz alongside other investors provided $80 million in funding to Twitter (now X). This investment helped Twitter expand and solidify its position as a global social media platform.


Andreessen Horowitz made an investment of $112 million in Airbnb in 2011. At the time, Airbnb was a leading company in the hospitality industry and this investment was a necessary capital for the company to grow and scale its operations worldwide.

Other Investments

The firm also made early investments in companies like GitHub, Okta, , Instabase, Pinterest, Groupon, etc. [7]

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Marc Andreessen

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April 3, 2024


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