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Silicon Valley investor Andreessen Horowitz just led its first full seed round in Europe and backed a former Google security whizz

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  • Andreessen Horowitz has completed its first full venture round into a seed-stage European startup to fund Swiss cloud computing company Optimyze Cloud. 
  • Optimyze Cloud was cofounded by Sean Heelan and Thomas Dullien. Dullien previously sold a startup to Google and was on its Project Zero security research team until 2019.
  • Optimyze Cloud has raised $3 million from Andreessen and various angel investors.
  • "Our long-term goal is to build magic fairy dust you sprinkle onto your cloud infrastructure to make everything faster & cheaper," Thomas Dullien, cofounder and CEO at Optimyze Cloud told Business Insider in an interview. 
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Andreessen Horowitz, the famed Silicon Valley investor, has made a rare foray into Europe by leading a $3 million seed funding round into Swiss cloud computing company Optimyze Cloud.
Optimyze Cloud was cofounded in 2018 by computer scientist Sean Heelan and Thomas Dullien. Dullien was most recently at Google's Project Zero, its famed security research team. He also sold a previous startup, Zynamics, to Google in 2011.
Dullien is now looking to solve three macro trends in cloud computing: the end of Moore's Law (that software performance will double every two years), the move to software-as-a-service (SaaS), and the move to cloud. The startup looks to leverage declining software growth through cost-saving efficiencies.
Cloud software firms have conventionally boasted enviable recurring revenue, but that is at risk during the pandemic as customers worry about IT costs. Anything that offers a saving is positioned to do well.
"Our long-term goal is to build magic fairy dust you sprinkle onto your cloud infrastructure to make everything faster and cheaper,"  Dullien told Business Insider in an interview.
"The entire software industry was used to getting 25% faster every year but now it's more like 2% a year," he added. "Greater efficiency reduces a lot of cost pressure on margins for [software-as-a-service] businesses which can otherwise impact revenues and valuations."
The round closed in February, and involved a number of angel investors alongside Andreessen.
Andreessen confirmed that the deal was its first seed deal in Europe to Business Insider. The fund has previously done seed rounds with London-based startup Arweave but they were not equity deals. The VC firm is famous for coining the phrase "Software is eating the world" in 2011, and has backed major consumer and enterprise tech firms including Facebook, Stripe, Instacart, Airbnb, Lime, and Slack.
The fund has only recently begun investing in Europe and has no office on the continent. Its other European investments include funding into Arweave, buzzy simulation software company Improbable, and payments firm TransferWise in recent years. 
It's part of a broader trend of US investors eyeing Europe for startup deals, with VCs plowing a record $5.3 billion into European startups.
Optimyze will use the funding to continue building its product and grow its team which is currently five people working remotely.
SEE ALSO: The CEO of $1.8 billion fintech Airwallex talks us through its $160 million fundraise during coronavirus. 'We want to be the AWS for financial services.'
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Source
https://www.businessinsider.com/andreessen-horowitz-leads-seed-round-in-swiss-cloud-computing-startup-optimyze-cloud-2020-4?IR=T

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