Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is expanding its operations with the opening of its first international office in London. The firm plans to collaborate with UK universities, support blockchain clubs, and promote blockchain-related education. Additionally, a16z will launch its Crypto Startup School accelerator program in the UK, aiming to attract entrepreneurs from around the world to build web3 startups.
Andreessen Horowitz Chooses London for International Expansion
a16z has announced that it will open its first international office in the UK to take advantage of crypto-friendly regulation. The move is part of a strategic plan to collaborate with UK universities, support blockchain clubs, and promote blockchain-related education.
The VC firm said that its decision to establish a presence in the UK stems from positive discussions with policymakers, including the Prime Minister, the HM Treasury, and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Chris Dixon, the founder and managing partner of a16z crypto, revealed that the firm has been actively engaging with policymakers and regulators worldwide, finding the UK government more open-minded to web3.
“We have been working with policymakers and regulators across the globe, and during our discussions it has become clear that the UK government sees the promise of web3, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak suggesting the UK can become a hub of web3 innovation. UK authorities are also willing to work with the industry to create policies that incentivize startups to pursue decentralization.”
a16z said that it aims to contribute to the growth of the UK’s web3 ecosystem while adhering to regulations that promote both consumer protection and the adoption of web3 technologies.
The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, emphasized the importance of embracing innovative technologies like Web3, powered by blockchain, to drive economic growth.
Sunak acknowledged the necessity of implementing appropriate regulations and safeguards to support consumer protection and foster innovation.
The Prime Minister welcomed a16z’s decision to establish its international office in the UK, recognizing the country’s leading universities, talent pool, and competitive business environment.
The London office, led by General Partner Sriram Krishnan, is expected to open later in the year. a16z crypto has already invested in several UK-based crypto companies, such as Arweave, Aztec, and Improbable.
The firm also announced its investment in Gensyn, a UK-based decentralized compute protocol that enables developers to build advanced AI systems on any connected hardware. Gensyn’s cryptographic verification system ensures the accuracy of the protocol’s machine learning work.
Andreessen Horowitz to Launch Crypto Startup School in the UK
Furthermore, a16z Crypto Startup School (CSS) plans to organize its next accelerator program in London in Spring 2024. The CSS program is tailored to the needs of web3 startups and attracts entrepreneurs from various countries.
The previous CSS program received over 8,000 applicants, with 26 companies ultimately selected for investments from a16z, mentorship from industry experts, and participation in a Demo Day.
As a responsible investor, a16z intends to obtain the necessary regulatory permissions to comply with UK regulations while conducting its activities in the country.