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A16Z, a leading investment firm, is hiring two new members of its management team – Margit Wennmachers and Maggie Leung. The two are expected to lead the company’s growth and expand its media strategy. They join CEO David Andreessen and CFO Brian Horowitz.
Andreessen Horowitz has announced plans to launch a new media property. They will use their money and their network to build out an operation that will deliver the latest news, trends, and how-to guides pertaining to the future of technology. The company’s media arm has already produced hundreds of hours of content.
One of the most notable elements of the plan is the presence of prominent tech gurus. Some of the names in the mix are not only known for their contributions to the field, but they are also a part of Andreessen Horowitz’s own portfolio of companies. A16Z has a burgeoning team of journalists, including former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post alum Maggie Leung, who has been named the company’s executive editor. She was previously vice president of content at NerdWallet.
For a nascent company like a16z, building out a media operation is a smart move. In addition to the magazine, the a16z media arm has also partnered with Insider, and released some of its own content. It has even landed a gig on Twitter’s coveted top of the funnel list.
One of the biggest questions about the new venture is what the heck will they actually cover. But it appears that the a16z team is on a hiring spree.
The media company formerly known as Andreessen Horowitz has launched a slew of new products. One of the more noteworthy is the 8 a16z, a digital content company specializing in biotech and consumer tech. Founded in 2006 by a group of former Googlers, the company’s a16z line of business includes a robust marketing team, as well as an impressive biotech portfolio. Its most notable product is Levels, a suite of mobile and web-based apps designed to facilitate the development and sharing of product information between consumers and biotech startups. While the company isn’t exactly a household name, it has garnered a fair amount of press for its brash leadership and a willingness to take a punt.
a16z is also announcing the creation of a number of new ventures, some of which will be launched this year and others next. These include the aforementioned a16z as well as the a16z Labs, an incubator for young and aspiring tech companies, and a16z Capital, a VC fund with a heavy focus on emerging markets. In the wake of a massive IPO and the announcement of its latest round of funding, a16z has decided to reposition itself as a go to VC firm for the next generation of tech aficionados.
a16z’s media strategy
A16z’s media strategy is a well-established one. It is a brand-based approach that targets high probability prospects. It is also a relatively cheap way to attract new entrants into the market.
As a marketing communications firm, a16z can help companies design their products to be effective in the marketplace. They can do this through a combination of five communication tools: social, web, mobile, podcasts, and email. These tools are designed to communicate effectively with customers and to deliver value.
The media team at a16z is led by Jacob Donnelly and Seyi Taylor. Both have been involved in the media business for years. This team has hired hundreds of hours of content.
The company is on a hiring spree. Recent additions include former Wall Street Journal reporter Maggie Leung, who previously worked at Washington Post, and Amelia Salyers, a former editor at TechCrunch.
A16z’s media strategy has expanded to include an editorial tone. It has a less clickbait-heavy style than many tech news outlets. There are podcasts with hosts such as Marc Andreessen and Eugene Wei. Despite its reputation as a company focused on VCs, A16z does not shy away from controversial topics, such as the opioid crisis.
One of the most powerful elements of the company’s media strategy is its 800-book library, which is displayed in its lobby. The library is a microcosm of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It is stuffed with books read by the company’s founders.