Venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz announced that it had brought aboard Peter Levine, a Citrix executive, as "venture partner" to beef up the firm's enterprise technology DNA and contacts, founder Ben Horowitz told the Wall Street Journal.
Levine, a senior vice president at Citrix Systems, will keep both jobs and help Andreessen Horowitz evaluate new deals in infrastructure, cloud computing, networking, virtualization, and storage, beginning, last month, with the VC's funding of Bromium, a virtualization provider, Horowitz said.
Levine is a powerful entree for Andreessen Horowitz to the world of enterprise technology, writes PEHub's Connie Loizos.
The arrangement seems like a pretty good deal for Andreessen Horowitz. For starters, Levine is the firm's first hire with prior venture capital experience, having been a partner at Mayfield Fund from 2002 to 2005. Levine is also on the faculty list at the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, giving the venture firm better access to technologies coming out of the university.
Horowitz explained to Tech Crunch why the firm wanted Levine:
Horowitz, who spent six months trying to recruit Levine, tells us that there were three main drivers in wanting to bring on Levine as a venture partner. First, both he and Marc Andreessen have always wanted to work with Levine, based on his reputation alone. Second, he says that Levine makes the firm much smarter in two main areas: 1. enterprise infrastructure (particularly with relation to virtualization and storage) and 2. sales channel models for enterprise products, which Levine was able to accomplish at Veritas. And lastly, Horowitz says that Levine's extensive network at a variety of organizations and companies, including MIT, Veritas, and Citrix, make him an ideal addition. He says of Levine, "It's hard to find a better expert or networked person in this domain."
Andreessen Horowitz has been successful identifying up-and-comers among consumer Web properties, like group-buying sites and social gaming, but investing in enterprise technology companies who can charge customers and demonstrate positive revenue early, may provide faster and more lucrative payouts for the firm.