Documents obtained by the Journal reveal that the company has returned $1.2 billion in cash to investors, net of fees, between 2009 and 2015. Sequoia Capital, for reference, returned more money for its investment in WhatsApp alone.
Most of Andreessen Horowitz's gains are still on paper, since many of its portfolio companies have yet to become acquired or debut on the public markets. Airbnb could still deliver big returns, though such private companies may also lose value over time.
Thought it may fall short of some rivals, the company outperforms the average fund: Overall, its three funds have almost doubled their investment capital since inception.
Scott Kupor, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz, responded swiftly to the report in a blog post. He insisted that it's too difficult to compare VCs by their returns and potential gains because firms use different methods to value the private companies in their portfolios. "Only real, actual cash and stock distributions matter," Kupor wrote. He compared "calling the outcome on funds that are less than five-years-old" to calling the winner of the Superbowl based on pre-season NFL games.
Andreessen Horowitz is a widely sought after investment firm, and as such, commands higher than average fees (it takes 30 percent of the profit after returning cash back to investors, rather than the typical 20 percent). Aside from re-tweeting Kupor's post on Thursday afternoon, Marc Andreessen, the firm's co-founder, hasn't publicly responded to the Journal report.