The expansion came following a “productive dialogue” with the United Kingdom’s prime minister and “months of constructive conversations” with U.K. policymakers, a16z’s general partner said.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is set to open its first office outside of the United States this year, adding to the backdrop of U.S.-based firms seeking greener pastures outside of the country.
Chris Dixon, a16z’s crypto founder and managing partner, cited a “predictable business environment” as one of the main factors behind its decision to expand. The move comes amid a slew of regulatory actions against crypto firms in the United States in recent months.
Dixon said the decision was finalized after a “productive dialogue” with the U.K. prime minister in addition to “months of constructive conversations” with HM Treasury, U.K. policymakers, and the Financial Conduct Authority. He added:
“We’re thrilled to open our first international office in a jurisdiction that welcomes blockchain technology and is committed to creating a predictable business environment by pursuing regulations that both embrace web3 and protect consumers.”
However, Dixon said the firm remains “heavily invested” in the U.S., and will continue to work with policymakers and regulators to push for more regulatory clarity for crypto start ups.
Rishi Sunak — the U.K.’s new pro-crypto prime minister — attributed the news of a16z’s expansion to having the “right regulation and guardrails” set in place to “foster innovation” while still protecting consumers.
Sunak said he was “thrilled” with a16z’s decision:
“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.”
In addition to the new office, a16z has also announced its plan to launch a new “Crypto Startup School” (CSS) program in London in the spring (March to June) of 2024.
The CSS accelerator program will aim to attract U.K. and international entrepreneurs keen on forging a career in Web3.
The most recent CSS program received more than 8,000 applicants, with 26 companies receiving an investment from a16z.
The U.K. office will also “work closely with universities” in the U.K. to “provide talent and support” for blockchain-based clubs and to encourage blockchain technology to be taught more in the classroom.
General Partner Sriram Krishnan will be in charge of the new office in London.
Andreessen Horowitz is the largest venture capital firm in the world, with over $35.8 billion in assets under management (AUM), according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
On June 11, a16z led a $43 million Series A fundraise for London-based Gensyn, a blockchain-based marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of computing power.
Some of a16z’s most notable investments in the cryptocurrency space include Coinbase, Avalanche, Compound, Dapper Labs, Matter Labs, OpenSea, Optimism, PROOF, Solana, Uniswap and Yuga Labs.
Cointelegraph reached out to a16z for comment but did not receive an immediate response.