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Well-known venture capital firm Andresseen Horowitz is gearing up to increase its bets on the financial technology space.
The Menlo Park, California-based company announced it would hire Credit Karma’s Anish Acharya as its newest general partner in an effort to beef up its investing team with experienced players in the fledgling space.
“Fintech is becoming a key part of the monetization strategy for more and more companies,” Alex Rampell told CNBC in a phone interview. “There are more fintech companies showing up at our door — we wanted more expertise around the table there.”
Rampell said the hire was proactive, and based on the firm’s view that major parts of S&P 500 are going to be “remade” by fintech — a sector that he said is “on fire” at the moment.
“Because of mobile phones are a lot of opportunities for money to change as well,” Rampell said. “We think that’s going to accelerate.”
Rampell pointed to Acharya’s time at Credit Karma, which he described as the “Kayak” of the fintech allowing users to browse applications — much like flights — for the best fit. Acharya is also a two-time start-up founder and launched a company called Snowball, which was acquired by Credit Karma. Before that, his company SocialDeck was bought by Google. He began his career as a software engineer at Amazon.
“The biggest consumer opportunities are going to be achieved by working on improving finance and sort of access to money,” Ancharya said.
Acharya, Rampell and general partner Angela Strange now lead the broader fintech team and said they will be investing out of existing funds. The firm, which made early bets on companies like Facebook, Instagram, Lyft, Pinterest, currently has a dedicated fund for cryptocurrency investments and another for biotech. Rampell said for now, they’re not raising a dedicated fund for financial technology.