Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz is to open its first international office in London – a crypto hub.

Known as a16z, it is also planning to host its next Crypto Startup School accelerator programme in the UK in spring 2024.

a16z says the UK office will allow it to work closely with universities throughout the UK to help provide talent and support to develop blockchain clubs and encourage blockchain related curriculum.

“The UK has deep pools of talent, world-leading academic institutions, and a strong entrepreneurial culture,” said a16z crypto founder and managing partner Chris Dixon. 

“Following a productive dialogue with the Prime Minister, and months of constructive conversations with HM Treasury, UK policymakers, 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. 

“We look forward to helping foster the growth of the UK web3 ecosystem while the proper regulations come online.”

The London office, slated to open later this year, will be led by general partner Sriram Krishnan. a16z crypto has invested in a number of UK-based crypto companies including Arweave, Aztec and Improbable.

PM Rishi Sunak said: “As we cement the UK’s place as a science and tech superpower, we must embrace new innovations like Web3, powered by blockchain technology, which will enable startups to flourish here and grow the economy.

“That success is founded on having the right regulation and guardrails in place to protect consumers and foster innovation. While there’s still work to do, I’m determined to unlock opportunities for this technology and turn the UK into the world’s Web3 centre.

“That’s why I am thrilled world-leading investor, Andreessen Horowitz, has decided to open their first international office in the UK – which is testament to our world-class universities and talent and our strong competitive business environment.”

a16z Crypto Startup School, an accelerator program designed around the specific needs of Web3 startups, plans to locate its next programme in London in spring 2024 with the aim of attracting UK and international entrepreneurs to build web3 startups in the UK. 

The most recent CSS program attracted more than 8,000 applicants with the final 26 companies chosen receiving investments from a16z, mentorship from industry experts, as well as the opportunity to participate in a Demo Day that reaches investors at the end of the course. 

Participants came from a range of countries including the UK, U.S., India, Germany, France, Argentina, Ecuador and Canada.