Andreessen Horowitz, which over its 14-year history has never raised capital from the major California pension funds, is changing its tune this year. The firm, also known as a16z, has raised $400 million from CalPERS for a new fund called California Innovation Opportunities, Fortune found in public records. The firm is also currently pursuing investments from CalSTRS, according to lobbying records.
It’s unclear at this time what the focus will be for a16z’s new fund. An a16z spokeswoman said the firm wouldn’t comment on fundraising or any other matter related to financials. A representative for CalPERS confirmed with Fortune that the pension plan was working with a16z and said it was as part of a new venture strategy the pension plan launched in 2022.
As Andreessen was launching the new fund this year, a16z’s head of investor relations, Jen Kha, registered as a lobbyist in California for the first time, according to records reviewed by Fortune. (California pension funds began requiring individuals who serve as placement agents to register as lobbyists in 2011.) Those records show that Kha would “attempt to influence” both CalPERS and CalSTRS, as well as the Regents of the University of California, the governing board of the university, which has both an endowment and a pension fund. It’s unclear whether CalSTRS and the University of California plan to invest in the fund as well. They did not return a request for comment on the matter.
There has long been speculation of whether funds including a16z had avoided capital from California’s pension funds particularly because of these LPs’ more stringent performance reporting obligations under freedom of information laws. CalPERS and CalSTRS both report the performance of all their investments—allowing the public to scrutinize the performance of the general partners they work with, including Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, TPG, and dozens of other venture and private equity firms.
Andreessen Horowitz launched its new fund in March, according to SEC records.
Updated, Dec. 4, 2023: This article was updated with a comment from CalPERS.