The Business On... Marc Andreessen, founder, Andreessen Horowitz
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Thursday 01 December 2011
You mean 'the visionary Marc Andreessen', of course?
That's the man. The software engineer who proselytised the possibilities of the web browser, created Netscape alongside Jim Clark, and became one of the first (and youngest) entrepreneurs to make a fortune out of the internet.
And for his second fortune?
Andreessen Horowitz is a venture capital firm which, thanks to its big name founder, seems to be getting access to the hottest pre-flotation investment deals.
So what zippy start-up has he alighted on now?
Ah, well this is a bit embarrassing. He seems to think Yahoo is the next big thing.
Yes, his firm is in a consortium of bidders for a minority stake in the troubled internet company. Yahoo's shareholders had rather been hoping to get a takeover bid, or have the company broken up, but no one really seems to love its fading mix of websites, email services and advertising businesses. A sub-20 per cent stake is all it can sell.
But Mr Andreessenis excited?
Yes. In fact, he is even considering running the thing if his consortium wins, according to Silicon Valley rumour.
And is that a good idea?
It will certainly be a departure from visionary. The mucky business of trying to make Yahoo grow again has drowned several bosses before him. Surely he is too cautious...
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