Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z) has added product management veteran Zal Bilimoria as its newest Partner. Bilimoria’s will join the A16Z “research and deals team,” meaning he will be tasked with identifying, evaluating, and recommending deals to the firm’s General Partners. [Disclosure: Andreessen Horowitz partners Marc Andreessen, Jeff Jordan, and Chris Dixon are personal investors in PandoDaily.] The news was confirmed by a member of the firm and is reflected in Bilimoria’s LinkedIn profile.
Bilimoria has held the position of senior product manager at LinkedIn since July 2012, and before that was a senior product manager at Netflix as well as a product manager at both Google and Microsoft. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Snip.ly, an in-page content recommendation engine launched in the summer of 2010 as part of the inaugural class of the AngelPad accelerator. The company was closed in September 2012.
Bilimoria, an Indiana native, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 2004 with a BS in Economics. He is also a Kiva Fellow, as well as a mentor at 500 Startups and Code for America.
This will be Bilimoria’s first official foray into the investing world. It’s unclear whether he will focus on Seed stage or later stage companies. Over the last decade, Bilimoria has held senior roles at some of Silicon Valley’s largest and most accomplished companies companies, but his one year and three months spent in the founder’s trenches (according to the timeframe attributed to Snip.ly on his LinkedIn profile) is both shorter and less noteworthy than one might expect of someone looking to sit on the other side of the table at one of the Valley’s most prominent firms.
As we’ve reported previously, A16Z founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have been intent on expanding their partnership from its earliest days in 2009, but it hasn’t always been easy to find people who met their exacting standards and for whom the timing worked out favorably. While they have grown the general partnership to just eight, the research and deals team now includes roughly 10 members, according to a firm representative.
The most recent additions to its general partnership were former eBay executive, and Hunch and SiteAdvisor founder Chris Dixon, who joined in November 2012 and SuccessFactors founder and SAP executive Lars Dalgaard, who joined in May 2013. The firm also employs several dozen people offering its portfolio company platform services, such as talent, marketing, PR, and business development.
According Andreessen, who spoke to PandoDaily around the Delgaard announcement, the goal with each addition to the investment partnership is not consensus or commonality in thinking. Rather, the objective is to build in as much diversity of experience and personalities as possible.
The only common thread among the eight General Partners is that each has demonstrated to be successful company builders, according to Andreessen. Bilimoria may not be a veteran entrepreneur but should make up for it with his youthfulness and his product experience. If he proves himself capable in this supporting role, there may eventually be a seat at the GP table for him down the line.