Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz
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Venture capital firm Andresseen Horowitz is gearing up to increase its bets in financial technology.
The Menlo Park, California-based firm said it’s hiring Credit Karma’s Anish Acharya as its newest general partner in an effort to beef up its investing team with experienced players in the fledgling space.
“Fintech is becoming a key part of the monetization strategy for more and more companies,” Alex Rampell, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, told CNBC in a phone interview. “There are more fintech companies showing up at our door — we wanted more expertise around the table there.”
Rampell said the hire was proactive, and based on the firm’s view that major parts of S&P 500 are going to be “remade” by fintech — a sector that he said is “on fire” at the moment.
“Because of mobile phones, there are a lot of opportunities for money to change as well,” said Rampell, who sold a start-up he co-founded to Visa before moving into venture capital. “We think that’s going to accelerate.”
Rampell pointed to Acharya’s time at Credit Karma, which he described as the “Kayak” of fintech because it allows users to browse applications — much like flights — for the best fit. Acharya is also a two-time start-up founder and launched a company called Snowball, which was acquired by Credit Karma. Before that, his company SocialDeck was bought by Google. He began his career as a software engineer at Amazon.
“The biggest consumer opportunities are going to be achieved by working on improving finance and sort of access to money,” Ancharya said.
Acharya, Rampell and general partner Angela Strange now lead the broader fintech team and will be investing out of existing funds. The firm, which made early bets on companies like Facebook, Instagram, Lyft and Pinterest, currently has a dedicated fund for cryptocurrency investments and another for biotech. For now, Rampell said, the firm is not raising a dedicated fund for financial technology.