Ben Horowitz: “It Took About 3 Weeks” To Raise Our $1.5 Billion Fund

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Andreessen Horowitz is definitely killing it these days. The unconventional VC firm founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz is less than three years old, but just raised its third fund. The amount raised: $1.5 billion. That puts Andreessen Horowitz in the rarified realm of only a handful of VC firms with funds of that size.

And how long did it take to raise all that money? “It took about 3 weeks of actual fundraisng activity,” Horowitz tells me. It took longer to do the actual paperwork—another 6 weeks.

Almost overnight, Andreessen Horowitz has become one of the premier VC firms in Silicon Valley. It’s already exited from its big bet in Skype, and has backed every hot startup from Airbnb, Groupon, Zynga to Foursquare, Pinterest, and Fab.

Part of Andreessen Horowitz’s success comes from making smart bets, but part of it is the way they approach venture capital, which Horowitz addresses in a blog post this morning. It is almost run as an operating company in that he it helps portfolio companies with recruiting, deals, PR, and other functions.

“If there is one thing that is different,” says Horowitz, “the way we operate the firm in some cases does give us superior knowledge. We do get a lot of knowledge from those functions. We know where the best engineers want to go in ways other firms don’t—where executives want to go, what big companie want to buy—because we are in those meetings.”

It also doesn’t hurt that Andreessen sits on the boards of Facebook and Hewlett-Packard, which gives him a unique perch from which to view the goings-on in Silicon Valley.