Marc Andreessen has an estimated net worth of more than $750 million. Marc Andreessen is most known for being the founder of Netscape, Loudcloud, and venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Net Worth: $750 Million
Notable Venture Capital Investments:
- Through his firm Andreessen Horowitz, Marc has invested over $200 million in bitcoin-related startups.
- Investment of $50 Million in Reddit
- Investment of $24 Million in Oculus VR
- Investment of $7 Million in Business Insider
Wealth Source: VC Investments, Netscape
Birth Place: Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States
Height: 6′ 4″ 1.96 m
Marital Status: Married (Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen)
Full Name: Marc Lowell Andreessen
Date of Birth: July 9, 1971
Occupation: Investor, Software Engineer
Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Children: 1 (John Andreessen)
Getting to Know Marc Andreessen, the Internet Evangelist
Born in 1971, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Marc Andreessen grew up in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, a place where football was immensely popular. He, however, was not interested in sports. He was more into computers. In fact, he started learning the BASIC programming language when he was just 8 years old. And, he did this by simply reading a book.
While children his age were busy playing, Marc spent a lot of time using the computer to create something. He built things and programs that he could use, like the virtual calculator that he made to help him with his homework in 6th grade Math. He was a young inventor who found innovative ways of making something. A perfect example would be using the Commodore 64 computer sitting in their home to create games he could play.
Growing up, Marc was described by some of his high school classmates as someone with “an excellent sense of humor”, but with an unusual imagination. He was also highly intellectual. He had a TRS-80 (Model 1, a microcomputer sold at Radio Shack in 1977), and this was what ate up most of his time.
It All Started with the Mosaic
Marc went to the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he took up computer science. At this time, his interest in computers was not of the same level anymore. So, he wasn’t really interested in his classes. He either fell asleep in class or skipped some from time-to-time. The story changed in the 1990s, when he saw several scientists using the Internet to share their works. He was then working at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) of the university.
As this was the time the World Wide Web started making waves, Marc thought of a way to maximize its potential. He approached and talked to Eric Bina, an NCSA employee. Together, they brainstormed for weeks to create a browser. They called it Mosaic. The two did a demonstration in January 1993, and that was the start of their success story.
Mosaic was created with the aim of helping people navigate or browse through the Internet by just clicking the mouse. Marc’s intention was to put the World Wide Web to good use. The concept, including that of the Internet, was totally new to many, especially to those who were using the computer for personal use. This did not stop him, though.
Mosaic was then released by the NCSA, which also had property rights over the program at that time. Since it was free to download, people grabbed the opportunity to do so. Mosaic was downloaded a record 2 million times and became an instant success in just one year.
Marc eventually graduated from the university and was immediately offered a job by a company based in Silicon Valley. For his first real job, he found himself creating software designs for Enterprise Integration Technologies’ Internet security products. Unknown to Marc, his life was about to turn around as Jim Clark, a former Stanford University professor and founder of Silicon Graphics (SGI), was looking for someone to join him in a business venture he was about to start. Somebody recommended Marc and all it took for fate to intervene was an email from Jim.
Marc met with Jim, who was at that time thinking of coming up with an interactive TV interface. The young man, however, told the SGI founder that the World Wide Web was the way to go if they wanted to make a mark in the tech world. After listening to Marc’s ideas, Jim was convinced and that signaled the start of Netscape.
Mosaic Communications Corporation was founded in 1994, with the help of a $4 million investment from Jim. The company they created was focused on the World Wide Web and its wonders. Since the University of Illinois owned the property rights for Mosaic, Marc and Jim changed the name to Netscape. Later on, Marc recruited his college friends, who helped him create a new browser – a polished and better version of Mosaic.
Netscape Navigator was released free of charge in December 1994. It became a hit. Soon after, in August of 1995, Netscape went public and Marc became an instant millionaire. Netscape’s worth was pegged at more or less $50 million, which blew up to more than $170 million in a few months’ time. However, this also marked the start of a challenging chapter for Marc and the company.
Netscape already had competitors at that time, like Lycos, Yahoo! and Excite. But it was the entrance of Microsoft, which started giving away its own browser for free, that made all the difference. Netscape Navigator’s market share was significantly cut. This period became known as the 1990s browser war, which saw both companies try to outdo each other by constantly coming out with improved versions of their respective browsers. One of the strategies employed by Netscape was to concentrate on creating software for the corporate networks. They focused greatly on Intranets.
Loudcloud and Andreessen Horowitz
Netscape Navigator continued to create waves until America Online bought it in 1999. Marc was offered the chief technology officer position, but he eventually stepped down later that year. He then sold his AOL stocks, gathered some people (including Ben Horowitz, his Netscape colleague) and formed Loudcloud, a cloud computing and software services company catering to major corporations. The company’s software program was called Opsware.
In 2007, Hewlett-Packard (HP) bought Loudcloud (which was then already known as Opsware) for a whopping $1.6 billion. The years after this were spent investing in different startups, along with Horowitz. They shelled out approximately $4 million in investments for around 45 startup ventures.
In July 2009, Marc partnered with Ben to create Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. Its first investment happened in August, a month after its inception. The startup was Apptio, which developed SaaS applications. Other investments include Zynga, Skype, Instagram, Foursquare, Airbnb, Pinterest and Soylent Corporation.
At present, aside from spending his time looking for investments for Andreessen Horowitz, Marc is also busy with his responsibilities as a board member of Facebook, Kno and Hewlett-Packard (HP), among others.
Marc is currently 19th in Forbes’ The Midas List.