We’re in great company.

Founder Jon Hirschtick and I are excited to welcome Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz to the Onshape team. The visionary firm has been an early stakeholder in many cloud and mobile game changers such as Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Box, GitHub, Pinterest, Skype and Slack.

Onshape has just raised $80 million in new equity financing led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Commonwealth Capital Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. To date, Onshape has raised $144 million in total funding.

The tech and business press will inevitably focus on the dollar signs, but for us this new partnership means much much more. This powerful vote of confidence ensures that Onshape will continue its momentum as the only company in the world 100% focused on cloud and mobile CAD. We will prudently use the investment to ramp up our R&D and strong customer support as well as expand our global sales and marketing (check out Onshape’s current job openings).

INVENTOR OF THE WORLD'S FIRST WEB BROWSER

Part of me feels like this new partnership was fate: Onshape, the first browser-based CAD system, is being supported by Marc Andreessen, the inventor of the world’s first browser. For those of you not fully familiar with his accomplishments, here’s why Wired Magazine calls him the “man who makes the future” and named him as one of their biggest heroes:

“No one has done more than Marc Andreessen to change the way we communicate. At 22, he invented Mosaic, the first graphical web browser—an innovation that is perhaps more responsible than any other for popularizing the Internet and bringing it into hundreds of millions of homes. He cofounded Netscape and took it public in a massive (for that time) stock offering that helped catalyze the dotcom boom. He started Loudcloud, a visionary service to bring cloud computing to business clients. And more recently, as a venture capitalist, he has backed an astonishing array of web 2.0 companies, from Twitter to Skype to Groupon to Instagram to Airbnb.”

It’s that kind of experience that will guide and accelerate Onshape’s growth. Take a quick look at the portfolio of “a16z” (shorthand for the firm - there are 16 letters between the “A” in Andreessen and the “Z” in Horowitz).  They have helped scale some of the world’s most innovative technology companies to become necessities in people’s everyday work and personal lives.

When he co-founded Netscape in the mid-1990s, Wired Magazine notes, “Andreessen prophesied a future where computers would dispense with feature-heavy operating systems entirely. Instead, we would use a browser to run programs over the network.

I cannot imagine a more perfect match.

CAD is “Eating the World”

The timing for our partnership couldn’t be better. This round of funding comes toward the end of Onshape’s highly successful beta test program as we look to soon transition to our first formal release. In the six months since our beta launch, Onshape has already achieved several historic firsts in the industry – most notably, the introduction of full-cloud and mobile CAD.

General Partner Peter Levine, who just joined the Onshape Board of Directors, called the Onshape product demo “one of the best we’ve seen.”

We’re especially thrilled to be working with Peter, because he has a true passion for CAD. In the 1980s, Peter’s first job was writing code for the high-speed graphics cards needed for PCs to run CAD software. As an investor, he’s been closely following the industry for a long time and was seeking to connect with a cloud and mobile-native system that allows real-time collaboration.

“I look forward to seeing the transformation of the CAD industry, which will bring new efficiencies and productivity to manufacturing and design organizations – as well as independent designers – worldwide,” he writes. “Software, finally, truly eats CAD.”

That last comment refers to Marc Andreessen’s “Software is Eating the World” mantra, which argues that software development is – and will continue to be – the single most important driver of the global economy. That certainly resonates for design and manufacturing, which is an annual $12 trillion industry, and is 100% dependent on CAD.

With a16z and all of our investors behind us, we’re able to even further deliver to our customers. Having privileged access to the latest technologies and some of the brightest minds in web, cloud and mobile will help accelerate the evolution of full-cloud CAD – and ultimately help build better products in every industry.

Every startup begins with a vision and a plan to execute that vision. This massive infusion of resources into Onshape means we can now focus exclusively on that critical second part. As we emerge and expand into new markets, we want you to know that our customer support will be expanding, too.

You’re the biggest reason for our success and we’re extremely grateful.