Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has revealed that it plans to open a London office that will be the first outside the US, saying the UK government will create a more favorable climate for crypto startups.
California-based A16z will open a new office this year to invest in the crypto and startup ecosystem in Europe and the UK. The office will be supervised by one of Andreessen Horowitz’s general partners, Sriram Krishnan, the company said. He also served as an advisor to Elon Musk on Twitter.
The company’s willingness to open an office in the UK comes after a renewed crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry in the US. Last week, US SEC filed a lawsuit against the largest crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase.
A16z’s crypto founder and managing partner, Chris Dixon, said the decision was made after a productive discussion with Rishi Shankar, the UK’s Prime Minister. The firm also held several months of constructive discussions with UK policymakers, HM Treasury, and the Financial Conduct Authority.
“We’re thrilled to open our first international office in a jurisdiction that welcomes blockchain technology and is committed to creating a predictable business environment by pursuing regulations that both embrace web3 and protect consumers.”
In addition, Dixon said the company has “invested heavily” in the US. However, it will continue to comply with regulators and policymakers to seek greater regulatory clarity for crypto projects.
A16z Preferred The UK Over Other Crypto Hubs
The company chose London over other potential destinations, including Dubai and Singapore. These locations foster crypto talent, while the UK has experienced a 57% drop in tech investment this year. Compared to the first half of 2022, this is the most significant decline among major European markets, venture capital firm Atomico said.
Dixon said London is a major tech and financial hub and a charming place for people to live. We’re looking forward to being part of that and pushing London to become a more active tech hub, he added.
Shankar said he was delighted that the firm had chosen the UK. He added that this is a testament to our highly competitive business environment, world-class universities, and talent.
Besides the new office, the company has also disclosed its plan to introduce a new Crypto Startup School program in London in the coming year. The program will attract international and UK entrepreneurs interested in Web3.