MENLO PARK, Calif. – Last year, when Marc Andreessen set up shop on Sand Hill Road, the tree-lined home to Silicon Valley’sventure capital firms, he was already a big name.
A Midwestern transplant, Mr. Andreessen was a founder of Netscape, which made the first popular Web browser, and Opsware, whichHewlett-Packard bought for $1.6 billion. But he wanted to prove that he could become one of the storied venture capitalists who invest in the next big thing.
In 16 months, Mr. Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz, which he started with Ben Horowitz, also a founder of Opsware, has earned a solid reputation among entrepreneurs because it helps founders run their companies. It has also managed to break into the top ranks of venture capitalist firms by investing in some of the most competitive deals, like Foursquare and Zynga.