Marc Lowell Andreessen
July 9, 1971
Cedar Falls, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BS)|
Marc Lowell Andreessen (// ann-DREE-sən; born July 9, 1971) is an American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer. He is the co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used web browser; co-founder of Netscape; and co-founder and general partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He co-founded and later sold the software company Opsware to Hewlett-Packard. Andreessen is also a co-founder of Ning, a company that provides a platform for social networking websites. He sits on the board of directors of Meta Platforms. Andreessen was one of six inductees in the World Wide Web Hall of Fame announced at the First International Conference on the World-Wide Web in 1994.
Early life and education
Andreessen was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and raised in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. He is the son of Patricia and Lowell Andreessen, who worked for a seed company. In December 1993, he received his bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC). As an undergraduate, he interned twice at IBM in Austin, Texas. He worked in the AIX graphics software development group responsible for the MIT X Window implementation and ports of the 3D language APIs: SGI's Graphics Language (GL) and PHIGS. He also worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, where he became familiar with Tim Berners-Lee's open standards for the World Wide Web. After being shown the ViolaWWW graphic web browser in late 1992, Andreessen and full-time salaried co-worker Eric Bina worked on creating a browser with integrated graphics that could be ported to a wide range of computers, including Windows. The result was the Mosaic web browser released in 1993.
In the Web's first generation, Tim Berners-Lee launched the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and HTML standards with prototype Unix-based servers and browsers. A few people noticed that the Web might be better than Gopher. In the second generation, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina developed NCSA Mosaic at the University of Illinois. Several million then suddenly noticed that the Web might be better than sex.
During his career, Andreesen has worked at Netscape, Opsware, founded Andreessen Horowitz and invested in many successful companies including, Facebook, Foursquare, GitHub, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter.
After his graduation from UIUC in 1993, Andreessen moved to California to work at Enterprise Integration Technologies. Andreessen then met with Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics, who had recently exited the firm. Clark believed the Mosaic browser had great commercial possibilities and suggested starting an Internet software company. Soon, Mosaic Communications Corporation was in business in Mountain View, California, with Andreessen as co-founder and vice president of technology. The University of Illinois was unhappy with the company's use of the Mosaic name, so Mosaic Communications changed its name to Netscape Communications, and its flagship Web browser was the Netscape Navigator.
Netscape was acquired in 1999 for $4.3 billion by AOL. 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.
After AOL acquired Netscape in late 1998, Andreessen went on to found Opsware with Ben Horowitz, Tim Howes, and In Sik Rhee. Originally named Loudcloud, the company provided computing, hosting and software services to consumer facing internet and e-commerce companies. Loudcloud sold its hosting business to EDS and changed its name to Opsware in 2003, with Andreessen serving as chairman. Acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007, it was one of the first companies to offer software as a service and to attempt cloud hosting.
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 announced their Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
The firm had been scrutinized among several other venture capital firms for lack of diversity in its workforce. In an interview with New York Magazine, Andreessen stated the diversity discussion was valid, however, he believed the firm, as well as other venture capital firms of Silicon Valley, had been wrongly accused of intentionally discriminating against women and people of color. When asked specifically about the critique of ethnic and gender diversity in Silicon Valley, Andreessen responded that the issues were the "same thing."
Begun with an initial capitalization of $300 million, within three years the firm grew to $2.7 billion under management across three funds. Andreessen Horowitz's portfolio holdings include Facebook, Foursquare, GitHub, Pinterest, Twitter, and Honor, Inc.
On September 1, 2009, an investor group that included Andreessen Horowitz acquired a majority stake in Skype at a valuation of $2.75 billion, which was considered risky. The deal paid off in May 2011 when Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion. In 2010, the firm assisted Silicon Valley attorney Ted Wang in creating the first free standardized seed round financing documents, the Series Seed Documents.
Andreessen first joined the eBay board of directors in 2008, and served on it for six years. In October 2014, Andreessen announced his resignation from the board due to the company's decision to break off its online payments unit PayPal. The decision to cut ties with PayPal was a point of contention between Andreessen and investor Carl Icahn. Icahn advocated for the PayPal split while Andreessen opposed the spin off, resulting in public disputes. Andreessen was accused by Icahn of putting his own interests in front of what was best for shareholders. Icahn published his argument in an open letter that detailed alleged conflicts of interest in eBay's 2009 sale of Skype to a group of private investors, which included Andreessen's own firm.
Andreessen and Horowitz were ranked No. 6 on Vanity Fair's 2011 New Establishment List, no. 1 on CNET's 2011 most influential investors list and Nos. 2 and 21, respectively, on the 2012 Forbes Midas List of Tech's Top Investors.
In April 2012, Andreessen and Andreessen Horowitz General Partners Ben Horowitz, Peter Levine, Jeff Jordan, John O'Farrell, and Scott Weiss pledged to donate half of their lifetime incomes from venture capital to charitable organizations.
In 2012, Andreessen was named in the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by Time. His essay "Software is eating the world" has been influential and highly cited.
In April 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Andreessen published an opinion article, "It's time to build", describing the United States' COVID-19 response and suggesting technological and cultural solutions to the problem.
Andreessen cofounded and chaired Ning, the third company he established after Netscape and Loudcloud. In September 2011, it was announced that Ning had been sold to Mode Media for a reported price of $150 million. Andreessen joined Glam Media's board of directors following the sale.
Andreessen serves on the board of Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Kno, Stanford Hospital, Bump Technologies, Anki, Oculus VR, OpenGov, Dialpad, and TinyCo. Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced in February 2018 that board member Andreessen would not seek reelection at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on April 4. In his time at Hewlett Packard, Andreessen had been partially blamed for some of the company's failures, including the recruiting of Leo Apotheker as well as the acquisitions of Autonomy and Palm.
He is advisor to Asana and director of CollabNet. He is a proponent of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Andreessen is on an advisory board for Neom, the Saudi Arabian government’s plan to build a futuristic megacity in the desert.
In February 2016, Andreessen posted a tweet in response to India's decision to apply net neutrality to Facebook's proposed project Free Basics. The tweet suggested that anti-colonialism had been catastrophic for the Indian people. Andreessen later deleted the tweet following criticism from Indians and non-Indians alike (including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg). Facebook spent millions advertising Free Basics to the Indian public. The project failed due to violations, setting preferential tariffs in accessing content and setting up a "walled garden" on the internet.
Conflict of interest
In April 2016, Facebook shareholders filed a class action lawsuit to block Zuckerberg's plan to create a new class of non-voting shares. The lawsuit alleges Andreessen secretly coached Zuckerberg through a process to win board approval for the stock change, while Andreessen served as an independent board member representing stockholders.
According to court documents, Andreessen shared information with Zuckerberg regarding their progress and concerns as well as helping Zuckerberg negotiate against shareholders. Court documents included transcripts of private texts between Zuckerberg and Andreessen.
Andreessen married Laura Arrillaga in 2006. She is the founder of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund and daughter of Silicon Valley real estate billionaire John Arrillaga. They have one son together.
In 2012, Andreessen expressed some support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. During the 2016 primary season, he endorsed Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, but after Fiorina dropped out of the race, Andreessen switched his endorsement to the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, citing the Republican nominee Donald Trump's immigration stance.
In 2021, he and his wife bought a property in Malibu for $177 million from Serge and Florence Azria. This was the highest price paid for a California property at that time.
In 2022, Andreessen advocated against the construction of 131 multifamily housing units in their affluent Atherton, California town. In a letter, Andreessen and his wife wrote that they opposed permitting more than one house on a single acre of land. Andreessen's comments sparked criticisms of hypocrisy, as he had previously argued for increased housing supply, in particular in California.
In 2022, Andreessen's plane was returning to Los Angeles when the nose gear failed to operate before landing. After circling the runway several times, the plane landed safely without the nose gear.
- Tad Friend (May 18, 2015). "TOMORROW'S ADVANCE MAN – Marc Andreessen's plan to win the future".
- Dan Frommer. "Marc Andreessen Joins Facebook Board". Alleyinsider.com. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
- Robert Cailliau (May 1994). "WWW94 Awards". CERN. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Friend, Tad (May 18, 2015). "Tomorrow's advance man : Marc Andreessen's plan to win the future". Letter from California. The New Yorker. Vol. 91, no. 13. pp. 58–73. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- Simone Payment, Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark: The Founders of Netscape, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2006, p. 15. ISBN 978-1-4042-0719-6.
- Payment, Simone (August 15, 2006). Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark: The Founders of Netscape. ISBN 9781404207196. Retrieved July 9, 2013 – via Google Books.
- "MARC L. ANDREESSEN". ENGINEERING AT ILLINOIS. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
- Alexia Tsotsis (January 28, 2013). "Marc Andreessen On The Future Of Enterprise". TechCrunch.
- Roads and Crossroads of Internet History Chapter 4: Birth of the Web
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- "Marc Andreessen". Centre for Computing History. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- "Netscape's Marc Andreessen". Time. February 19, 1996. Archived from the original on February 17, 2005.
- "At just 24, he appeared—barefoot and wearing a crown—on the cover of Time."Steve Hamm (April 13, 1998). "The Education of Marc Andreessen". Businessweek.
- Alan Levenson (photo credit) (April 13, 1998). "04/13/19 Cover Story". Businessweek. Archived from the original on November 4, 1999. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
- "AOL Names Andreessen CTO". WIRED. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "1999 Young Innovators Under 35: Marc Andreessen, 28". MIT Technology Review. 1999. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Venkat, Girish. "Loudcloud: Early light on cloud computing". Business Tech News. CNET. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Martens, China. "HP Buying Opsware in $1.6 Billion Deal". PC World.
- Wong Kromhout, Wileen. "Ben Horowitz MS '90". Alumni Profiles. UCLA Engineering. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Maney, Kevin (July 6, 2009). "Marc Andreessen puts his money where his mouth is". Fortune Magazine. CNNMoney. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Wadhwa, Vivek (October 7, 2014). "The glaring gender dilemma Silicon Valley venture capitalists are hiding from". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- "Marc Andreessen Explains The 1 Thing People Get Wrong About Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem". Business Insider. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- "Marc Andreessen on Why Optimism Is Always the Safest Bet". Daily Intelligencer. October 20, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- Tam, Pui-Wing (February 1, 2012). "Andreessen's Firm Raises $1.5 Billion". Technology. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Tam, Pui-Wing (April 6, 2011). "Andreessen Horowitz Raises $200 Million Co-Investment Fund". Technology. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Andreessen Horowitz, Matrix Partners Invest $11.2 Million in Meteor". News Release. MarketWatch. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Wauters, Robin (November 19, 2009). "Breaking: eBay Completes Skype Sale At $2.75 Billion Valuation". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Ovide, Shira (May 10, 2011). "Microsoft-Skype Deal: Andreessen Horowitz Takes Victory Lap". Deal Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Kara Swisher. "Series Seed Documents–With an Assist From Andreessen Horowitz–To Help Entrepreneurs With Legal Hairballs". allthingsd.com. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
- "Marc Andreessen Joins EBay Board". WIRED. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Mac, Ryan. "Marc Andreessen Resigns From eBay Board Following Icahn Defeat". Forbes. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "Andreessen exits eBay board after Icahn spat". New York Post. October 20, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "Disrupting the disrupters". Technology Quarterly: Q3 2011. The Economist. September 3, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "The 2011 New Establishment List: And the Top Spot Goes to..." VF Daily. Vanity Fair. September 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz". 12 of the most influential tech investors of 2011. CNET. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "2012's Top Tech Investors". The Midas List. Forbes. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- McBride, Sarah (April 25, 2012). "Andreessen Horowitz partners pledge income to charity". Reuters. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- McCracken, Harry (April 18, 2012). "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Andreessen, Marc (August 20, 2011). "Why Software is Eating the World". Life & Culture. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Singh, Tarry. "Software Ate The World, Now AI Is Eating Software". Forbes.
- "Software is still eating the world". June 7, 2016.
- Andreessen, Marc (August 20, 2011). "Why Software Is Eating The World". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
- "2013 Winners Announced" Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
- "IT'S TIME TO BUILD". Andreessen Horowitz. April 18, 2020. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
- Griffith, Erin; Lorenz, Taylor (May 19, 2020). "The Hot New Thing in Clubby Silicon Valley? An App Called Clubhouse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
- Andreessen, Marc. "Merging Glam and Ning". Marc Andreessen's Blog. Marc Andreessen. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Rosoff, Matt. "Glam Media Buys Marc Andreessen's Ning". Articles. Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Yarow, Jay. "Eric Schmidt, Sean Parker, Marc Andreessen Invest in Boutique Bank Raine". Investment. Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Marc L. Andreessen". Executive Profile. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Silicon Valley Couple Pledge $27.5 Million Gift to Stanford Hospital for Cutting-Edge Emergency Care". News Release. Stanford Hospital & Clinics. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- Tsotsis, Alexia (June 10, 2013). "Anki Debuts Serious Robotics AI With Fun Racing Game At WWDC, Raises $50M Led By A16Z". TechCrunch. AOL Tech. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- Chris Velazco (December 12, 2013). "Oculus VR Raises $75 Million To Help Bring Virtual Reality Goggles To The Masses". TechCrunch.
- "OpenGov Picks Up $25 Million More And Adds Marc Andreessen To The Board". TechCrunch. October 15, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
- "TinyCo Raises $18 Million From Andreessen Horowitz For Mobile Gaming". TechCrunch. February 25, 2011.
- "Form 8-K Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company". www.sec.gov. February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Cox, Rob (November 21, 2012). "HP Board Member Marc Andreessen, an Internet Pioneer, Deserves Some of the Blame for the Company's Failures". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "HP's Board Was Such A Dysfunctional Mess That It Hired Leo Apotheker Without Really Interviewing Him". Business Insider. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Constine, Josh (November 2016). "Marc Andreessen joins board of Dialpad, the desk phone killer". TechCrunch.
- Dylan Love (January 21, 2014). "Marc Andreessen Has A Great Answer For Why Bitcoin Matters". businessinsider.com.
- "Top tech execs will help Saudi Arabia build its mega city of the future". CNN. October 11, 2018.
- "Some Silicon Valley Superstars Ditch Saudi Advisory Board After Khashoggi Disappearance, Some Stay Silent". The Intercept. October 12, 2018.
- "Net Neutrality: Indians fume over offensive tweet by Facebook board member". Deccan Chronicle. February 10, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Ghosha, Abhimanyu (February 10, 2016). "Marc Andreessen just offended 1 billion Indians with a single tweet". The Next Web. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Zuckerberg, Mark (February 11, 2016). "Mark Zuckerberg responds to Andreessen's tweet". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Bhatia, Rahul (May 12, 2016). "The inside story of Facebook's biggest setback". The Guardian. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Wadhwa, Vivek (February 8, 2016). "Free Basics And Facebook's Waterloo In India". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Gilbert, David (December 23, 2015). "Facebook's Free Basics Service Shut Down In India". International Business Times. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Heath, Alex (December 13, 2016). "Here are the chummy behind-the-scenes text messages between Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Andreessen that surfaced in a Facebook lawsuit". Business Insider. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Chang, Lulu (December 9, 2016). "Marc Andreessen accused of conflict of interest based on private texts to Zuckerberg". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Quinn, Michelle (August 15, 2007). "Andreessen Casts a Wide Net". Los Angeles Times.
- Boorstin, Julia (July 17, 2012). "Marc Andreessen Talks Facebook, Romney and Yahoo". CNBC.
- Chmielewski, Dawn (June 14, 2016). "Asked why he supports Clinton over Trump, Marc Andreessen responds: 'Is that a serious question?'". Recode.
- Weinberger, Matt (June 15, 2016). "Marc Andreessen on why he's supporting Clinton over Trump: 'Is that a serious question?'". Business Insider. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Solomont, E.B. (October 29, 2021). "Marc Andreessen Is the Buyer of Serge Azria's Malibu Home". The Wall Street Journal.
- Demsas, Jerusalem (August 5, 2022). "The Billionaire's Dilemma". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
- Griffith, Erin (August 12, 2022). "The Summer of NIMBY in Silicon Valley's Poshest Town". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 25, 2022.