a16z’s first global office will be in London due to ‘predictable’ environment

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Renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is opening its first global office in London due to a “predictable” regulatory environment.

The decision to expand comes in the wake of growing regulatory challenges faced by crypto firms in the United States. Chris Dixon, a16z’s crypto founder and managing partner, highlighted the importance of a predictable business environment as a key factor behind the expansion.

a16z’s decision follows productive dialogues with UK policymakers, including the Prime Minister, and months of constructive conversations with HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The UK’s new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has expressed pro-crypto sentiments and attributes a16z’s decision to the country’s favourable regulatory environment. He emphasised the importance of striking the right balance between innovation and consumer protection, a balance that he believes the UK has achieved.

Sunak said today:

“As we cement the UK’s place as a science and tech superpower, we must embrace new innovations like Web3, powered by blockchain technology, which will enable start-ups to flourish here and grow the economy.

That success is founded on having the right regulation and guardrails in place to protect consumers and foster innovation. While there’s still work to do, I’m determined to unlock opportunities for this technology and turn the UK into the world’s Web3 centre.

That’s why I am thrilled world-leading investor, Andreessen Horowitz, has decided to open their first international office in the UK — which is testament to our world-class universities and talent and our strong competitive business environment.”

While a16z is expanding its presence internationally, it remains heavily invested in the United States. The firm intends to continue collaborating with policymakers and regulators to advocate for clearer regulations and greater regulatory clarity for crypto startups.

In addition to opening its UK office, a16z plans to launch a Crypto Startup School (CSS) program in London in the spring of 2024. The CSS accelerator program aims to attract aspiring entrepreneurs in the Web3 space from the UK and around the world. The most recent CSS program received an overwhelming response with over 8,000 applicants, and 26 companies were selected for investment by a16z.

The new UK office will also collaborate closely with universities to support blockchain-based clubs and promote the inclusion of blockchain technology in academic curricula. Sriram Krishnan, a General Partner at a16z, will lead the London office.

As the largest venture capital firm globally, managing over $35.8 billion in assets, a16z has made notable investments in the cryptocurrency space. This includes prominent projects such as Coinbase, Avalanche, Compound, Dapper Labs, OpenSea, and Solana, among others.

The decision by a16z to expand internationally and choose the UK as its first office outside the US is a testament to the country’s growing reputation as a welcoming and innovative hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency ventures.

(Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash)

Related: FCA introduces new rules for marketing cryptoassets

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