Andreessen Horowitz to invest $30M in tech-fueled gaming startups

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has announced it will be investing $30 million in technology-centric gaming startups, including AI, VR/AR and Web3 games.

“We are investing at the intersection of TECH x GAMES, which means AI/infra, 3D tools, VR/AR, web3 games, gamified consumer apps, and much more,” announced Andrew Chen, a general partner at a16z, who oversees a16z’s Games One Fund.

The $30 million will be invested across the next 45 days via the firm’s early-stage accelerator “SPEEDRUN” program, Chen said in an April 1 X post, with $750,000 handed out to each startup that joins the program. 

Source: Andrew Chen

The program consists of a 12-week program, with participants supported with capital, as well as industry coaches, mentors, and a “community of ambitious founders,” said Chen.

Chen noted that a16z is open-minded to a range of startups — from teams only in the ideas phase to teams with an established product and real revenue.

Competition into a16z’s SPEEDRUN program is fierce though, with only 1% of applicants admitted into the last cohort. However, Chen said 80% of companies from SPEEDRUN’s first cohort secured funding from investors following Demo Day.

Applications must be submitted by May 19, with the 12-week course running between July 29 and Oct. 20, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.

Web3 graduates from a16z’s SPEEDRUN program include soccer-themed Matchday and nonfungible token-based Promodium, both Web3 games.

Related: ‘Tens of millions’ to enter Web3 through gaming in 2024 — GameFi execs

Chen oversees the firm’s $600 million Game Fund One, which launched in 2022 and includes investments in Roblox, Sandbox and Sky Marvis — the creators of the blockchain game Axie Infinity.

The Silicon Valley firm has also invested in blockchain-based gaming startups through its cryptocurrency division, such as Mythical Games, Yield Guild Games, Azra Games, CCP Games, NOD games and Voldex.

The Web3 gaming market is projected to grow from $154 billion to $614 billion by 2030, according to a January report by Fortune Business Insights — marking a compounded annual growth rate of 21.8%.

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