Andreessen Horowitz, popularly known by the monicker a16z, a silicon valley venture capital group, plans to invest $500 Mn in Indian startups, according to a recent TechCrunch report.
According to the report, several high level partners at a16z, including Seema Amble and Sumeet Singh, have been in talks with multiple Indian startups over the past few months, and a16z is currently looking to hire local talent to further their cause in the Indian startup space.
Earlier this year, a16z managed to raise a whopping $9 billion for its venture growth and bio funds, and is already a sizeable backer of the cryptocurrency exchange platform CoinSwitch Kuber — its first investment in India. The firm is currently contemplating investment in a $250 Million valued Indian Startup running an opinion sharing platform, according to reports. a16z are also reportedly in talks with a Bengaluru-based early stage Fintech startup (Totally “Open” to guesses, right?)
It is apparently very tough to slide this through using a pun, so a straight intelligent guess would be that a16z have an eye on Koo App, an opinion sharing platform, that was also last valued at close to $250 Million.
Andreessen Horowitz, who, if reports are to be believed, are making a rather late entry into the Indian market. Co-founder Marc Andreessen did vaguely express interest in the idea though. In an interview with Stanford Graduate School of Business six years ago, he said it was “extremely tempting” to back startups in emerging markets. He further explained the difficulty faced by VC groups to explore that option saying “If [Venture Capital] continues to be a hands-on business like that then there is the problem of geographic remoteness, which is if I’m not present in another geography, do I really know those people to make the decisions. So what a bunch of firms have been trying to do is staff local teams. But then there’s the fundamental problem that if the local team is really good, then they can easily leave and run their own firms. If they are bad, they stay working for me…which has its own issues.”
a16z will be noticing familiar venture capital competitors already boasting of a dominant presence in the Indian start-up land. Accel, Lightspeed, Sequoia and Softbank have made significant moves in the Indian market.