Andrew Chen, the head of growth at Silicon Valley tech titan Uber Technologies Inc., is stepping down from his role in order to join venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Before joining the on-demand transportation giant, Chen was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at San Mateo, Calif.-based venture firm Mohr Davidow Ventures. He also founded Kickball Labs, a company that Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz invested in before founding their venture firm.
Chen is an advisor and investor in handfuls of tech startups including AngelList, Barkbox, Boba Guys, Dropbox, Front, Marco Polo, Gusto, Kiva, Product Hunt, Tinder, Workato and others.
Andrew’s personal blog is widely followed around the world, while hundreds of his other essays have been featured and quoted on publications such as The New York Times, Fortune, Wired and WSJ. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have been following Chen’s writing, which focuses on go-to-market strategies, since 2007 when the two were just angel investors. Impressed by his “on-the-money” ideas, Marc sent a cold email to Andrew introducing himself, and the investors ended up backing Chen’s startup.
“While Andrew had almost no luck, he had plenty of ingenuity and nobody worked harder. Beyond that, he became the world’s leading expert at consumer and bottoms-up SaaS product distribution. We often thought about how great it would be to have Andrew help our companies,” said Ben in a company blog post.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based VC firm with over $2.7 billion under management invests from seed to growth, and backs tech unicorns such as Uber rival Lyft. Andreessen Horowitz still does not have any female general partners. The hiring of Chen comes just a week after a16z saw the departure of Lars Dalgaard, leaving the number of decision makers at the firm at ten.
Chen will join the venture firm in April and focus on consumer startups, bottoms up SaaS, marketplaces and more, utilizing his expertise in growth to launch and scale new companies.
“Andreessen Horowitz is a firm built on the same core values I saw first-hand. The investing team has a deep empathy for entrepreneurs that reflects their extensive operating experience. The partners on the operating team are incredible and enable the firm’s unmatched support of founders and their companies. For all of these reasons and more, I’m thrilled to join the a16z team,” said Andrew.