Andreessen Horowitz dumps a third of its Facebook shares

Summary:Last year, a16z said it was investing for the long-term. This year, it is selling off a large portion of its shares.

According to regulatory filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US investment firm Andreessen Horowitz has disposed of about 2.3 million of its shares valued between of US$49.22 and US$50.07 each. It now has about 4.6 million shares remaining.

In November 2012, a16z's faith in the social network was brought into question when the investment firm's co-founder Marc Andreessen sold his personal stake in Facebook. Andreessen himself is on Facebook's board of directors, and it was through this role that he gained the shares he sold last year. At the time, a16z told TechCrunch that the sale of shares was simply to cover tax liability and that the investment firm believed in the long-term value of the company.

Angel investor Peter Thiel also  sold off 20 million of his shares in the company shortly after the mandatory lock-up period that followed Facebook's initial public offering in May 2012. At the time, the shares were valued between US$19.27 and US$20.69 each, lower than when the company listed at US$38 per share.

Facebook is not the only thing Thiel and Andreessen have in common. Thiel previously debated with Andreessen over the success of Twitter, claiming that Twitter will outlast The New York Times.

Thiel's confidence in Twitter and apparent loss of such in Facebook appears to match up to the success of each company at its IPO. Facebook had a number of factors that led to an almost immediate slide in its post-IPO share value, however, Twitter saw its share price climb from its initial post-IPO pricing of US$26 per share to US$45 by the end of its first day on the New York Stock Exchange.

Today, Twitter shares are still normalising around US$41. Facebook sits about the US$47 mark.

Topics: Social Enterprise

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A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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