“Software eating the world” is the basic philosophy behind all of Andreessen Horowitz’s investments. But the Silicon Valley VC has a few specific areas of tech that are lighting up its radar right now.
With $1.5 billion in a new fund to invest in startups, managing partner Scott Kupor told Business Insider about a few areas the firm is super excited about:
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence: “The applications are all across the board,” Kupor said. Chris Dixon led the firm’s investment in Comma.Ai, a self-driving car and artificial intelligence startup. Now it’s looking for more companies that are using machine learning to drive decisions.
- Virtual reality: Andreessen Horowitz already made one successful investment in Oculus, which sold to Facebook for $2 billion. Now, it’s looking at companies that are making VR content. “That’s an area where we’ve been spending a lot of time and you’ll see us do more there now that the platforms are kind of established,” Kupor said. Beyond content, the firm is also looking for companies who are applying virtual reality to industries in ways it hasn’t seen before.
- Enterprise infrastructure: “We continue to think we’re at the early stages of what’s really the transformation happening of enterprise IT. So you’re going to be seeing us doing a lot more storage companies, networking countries, infrastructure applications… All this stuff where you have enterprise buyers on the other end,” Kupor said. Andreessen Horowitz added Martin Casado as a general partner in February to help leads its investments in the enterprise space.
- Financial services: Historically, this hasn’t a big space for the firm, but it brought on Alex Rampell to oversee its investments in fintech. “You’ll see us do things around the lending space, potentially insurance, other things that are happening in financial services we think is really interesting,” Kupor said.
While Kupor called out these four areas specifically, it doesn’t mean the firm is not interested in any company that falls outside the categories. The firm is still looking for entrepreneurs with big ideas that have the software to back it. “For us, we’re always looking for companies where software is the differentiating factor of the business,” Kupor said. “It’s dangerous in this business to red-line areas.”
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