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Silicon Valley venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz raises $1.5-billion

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, speaks during the "The Future of Technology" panel at the Fortune Tech Brainstorm 2009 in Pasadena, California July 22, 2009.

© Phil McCarten / Reuters/Phil McCarten/Reuters

Venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz raised $1.5-billion for a new fund, bringing the firm's assets under management to $2.7-billion and cementing the firm's position among the venture-capital elite.

"It's a very opportunity-rich environment right now," said Marc Andreessen, the firm's co-founder, who said the firm planned to stick to its strategy of investing in companies with the potential to upend an industry, often around the software theme, which he sees playing out for some time.

"After software, there will be more software," said Mr. Andreessen, who cited industries such as book publishing that were relatively unaffected by software changes until innovations such as Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad emerged in recent years.

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Next up would be industries such as healthcare and education, he said.

In a blog post, co-founder Ben Horowitz said last year the firm hosted 600 portfolio presentations to help introduce its start-ups to potential customers at Fortune 500 companies.

Separately, the firm has made introductions that have helped its start-ups recruit 130 new staffers in a tough-to-hire environment in Silicon Valley, particularly for engineers.

Andreessen Horowitz started with $300-million in 2009 and then raised $900-million more in 2010. It has invested in many of the country's hottest start-ups, including Airbnb, Pinterest, Zynga and Facebook, which is preparing for a much-anticipated initial public offering.

Raising $1.5-billion in a single fund places it in a relatively elite group of billion-plus funds.

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