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For a long time, distributed work for VCs looked like a split-HQ between two cities in different parts of the world. Now, it may look like "the cloud."
Andreessen Horowitz, a venture firm turned registered investment adviser, says that its “headquarters will be in the cloud” going forward, according to a blog post written by founding partner Ben Horowitz. Alongside ditching a centralized HQ, a16z announced new offices in Miami Beach, New York and Santa Monica in addition to its existing Menlo Park and San Francisco posts.
A16z declined to comment beyond the blog post.
The firm is prioritizing physical offices around the world instead of one centralized HQ doesn’t entirely come as a surprise, if you consider the pandemic. Coronavirus kept offices closed, forcing venture capitalists to learn how to do their jobs remotely and all around the world. Now, VCs staying in Silicon Valley feels quite 2019, as investors migrate to other hot spots, including Austin, Miami and Salt Lake City.
“In our firm’s new operating model, we work primarily virtually, but will use our physical presence to develop our culture, help entrepreneurs and build relationships,” Horowitz wrote in the blog post. Despite the fact that “materialize physically on command” sounds like a phrase straight out of a Marvel movie, it’s an example of how investors are reacting to remote-first but not remote-only work culture.
Distributed VCs are reacting differently to this new normal, with many of the newer investors having been always remote. For example, Eric Tarczynski of Contrary Capital says his firm has been remote since inception but recently launched an in-person community space in NYC for portfolio companies and founders within the firm's network. "Having a space where people can host small dinners, events and work out of when they're ideating has been powerful," he tells TechCrunch.
Ankur Nagpal, of Vibe Capital, launched his fund with plans to spend one month at a time in geographies he plans to invest in. Brianne Kimmel of Worklife Ventures is creating an invite-only community space in Los Angeles. Most recently, Index Ventures opened its fourth office in New York — its first new office in more than a decade.