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Andreessen Horowitz: The Next 100 Billion Tech Company Could Come From the UK

Last Updated May 21, 2024 4:27 PM
James Morales
Last Updated May 21, 2024 4:27 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Andreessen Horowitz opened its first non-US office in London last year.
  • During the Digital Asset Summit on Tuesday, General Partner Sriram Krishnan was optimistic about the UK’s startup scene.
  • The UK has launched many successful technology companies, however, only a few break out into the big leagues.

Six months after opening its first office outside of the United States, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is starting to reap the fruits of its presence in the UK.

During a fireside chat at the City Week Digital Asset Summit, General Partner Sriram Krishnan said the venture capital firm had already got its first accelerator program up and running in the country, which he predicted could launch the next $100 billion technology company.

Why a16z Set up shop in the UK

Discussing the firm’s expansion to London, Krishnan explained that the UK’s strong tradition of technology entrepreneurship was critical.

So why embrace the UK startup scene now? Post-brexit, he noted that the country “has a unique opportunity to create the regulatory environment to promote innovation.”

Of course, that narrative has been central to government policy since 2016. Conservative lawmakers have been some of the most vocal advocates for cutting red tape after exiting the EU and like to promote the UK’s regulatory landscape with words like “agile” and “nimble.”

But Krishnan observed that since setting up shop in London, a16z has also been in communication with the opposition Labour party, who polls show are currently on course to lead the next UK government.

Preparing for the Next Government

Noting that “everyone has been really receptive” across different wings of UK politics, Krishnan implied that a16z is committed to the UK no matter what happens in the next general election.

After all, regardless of who’s in power, the country is an attractive place to live and work, he pointed out, highlighting the UK’s world-class talent pool. 

And yet, it is a16z’s traditional stomping ground of California that is home to the largest, most successful technology firms.

Rivaling Silicon Valley

While Silicon Valley may be home to the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft, the UK has also made its contributions to global Big Tech, especially in the field of AI.

Like a16z, when OpenAI opened its first international location, London was a natural choice.

Close to a major AI research cluster in Cambridge and well connected with other European technology hubs, most global Big Tech firms have a presence in the city.

Since it acquired Deepmind for around half a billion dollars in 2014, London has also been central to Google’s AI business. To this day, Google Deepmind remains headquartered in the city and the firm remains heavily tied to the UK.

Alongside its AI leadership, the UK also has a strong track record in emerging technologies like blockchain and crypto.

One of the first things a16z did after opening its London location was set up a crypto startup accelerator. Krishnan said the first tranche to go through the program has already delivered results and some have been selected to receive further mentoring and support from the company.

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