John O'Farrell (venture capitalist)

John O’Farrell is an Irish venture capitalist at the Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, which he joined in June 2010 as its third general partner.[1] He serves on the boards of PagerDuty, Slack,[2] Factual, GoodData,[3] Granular,[4] IFTTT, ItsOn and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.[5]

John O'Farrell
John O'Farrell.jpg
John O'Farrell in 2011
Alma materUniversity College Dublin (Bachelor of Electronic Engineering)
Stanford Graduate School of Business (M.B.A.)
OccupationVenture capitalist
Known forGeneral Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Early life and educationEdit

O'Farrell is from Stillorgan in south Dublin.[6] Born in Ireland, O’Farrell has a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.[7]

Early careerEdit

From 1997 to 2001, O’Farrell was Senior Vice President of International for @Home Network (later Excite@Home), where he led the launch of broadband Internet services through joint venture subsidiaries in the Benelux countries,[8] Australia[9] and Japan.[10] Prior to @Home, O’Farrell held general management, marketing and consulting positions in the United States and Europe with US WEST, Telecom Ireland, Booz Allen Hamilton, the European Commission, Digital Equipment Corp. and Siemens.[7]

From 2001 to 2007, O’Farrell was Executive Vice President, Business Development for Opsware Inc., which was initially known as Loudcloud and was one of the first companies to offer Software as a Service and cloud computing services.[11] With CEO Ben Horowitz, O’Farrell negotiated Loudcloud’s 2002 exit from the services business and its emergence as a server automation software company named Opsware with a $52 million initial contract from EDS.[12] Over the subsequent five years, O’Farrell led the expansion of Opsware’s product line into asset-management, networking,[13] storage[14] and runbook automation[15] through four acquisitions as well as overseas partnerships with NEC Corp.[16] and NTT Communications.[17] In February 2006, O’Farrell negotiated Opsware’s multi-million dollar distribution agreement with Cisco Systems, which was generating $5 million in quarterly revenue for Cisco by Q4 of that year.[18] O’Farrell and Horowitz orchestrated a process involving 10 potential acquirers that resulted in the sale of Opsware to Hewlett-Packard for $1.65 billion in June 2007.[19]

O’Farrell joined smart grid networking company Silver Spring Networks in January 2008 as Executive Vice President, Business Development.[20] O’Farrell led the company’s $90 million Series D fundraising led by Kleiner Perkins and Google; its expansion into Europe, Latin America and Asia; and its acquisition of Greenbox Technology.[21]

He became the first non-founding partner of Andreessen Horowitz in 2010, and according to the Irish Times, he "quietly [rose] to become one of Ireland’s most senior figures in the technology world."[22] In 2013, he moved out of investing and into an advisory role.[23] In 2019, he is a board member at Slack, although without board voting rights.[24]


In April 2012, O'Farrell along with Andreessen Horowitz General Partners Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, Peter Levine, Jeff Jordan, and Scott Weiss pledged to give half of their lifetime income from venture capital to charity.[25]


  1. ^ Swisher, Kara (4 November 2010). "The Not-Marc-and-Ben GP–aka John O'Farrell–at Andreessen Horowitz Speaks!". All Things D. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  2. ^ Geron, Tomio (12 April 2012). "Tiny Speck Lands $10.7M From Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz". Forbes. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  3. ^ Boonin, Sam. "GoodData Secures $15 Million Funding, Adds Andreessen Horowitz and Google Executives to the Board". The GoodData Blog. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  4. ^ James, Andrew (28 June 2012). "Solum: One Foot in Silicon Valley, the Other in the Field". Pando Daily. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Second Harvest Food Bank. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  6. ^ "The Dubliner At The Heart Of Silicon Valley": Dublin Globe, Tom Lyons, published 3/13/2019
  7. ^ a b "John O'Farrell". CrunchBase. TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Commission clears joint venture @Home Benelux B.V." Press Releases. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  9. ^ Grice, Corey (11 February 1999). "Excite@Home strikes a deal down under". CNET. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  10. ^ "@Home Expands Abroad". Internet News. June 19, 2000. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  11. ^ Sheff, David. "Crank It Up". Feature Article. Wired. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  12. ^ "EDS to Acquire Loudcloud Hosting Business". CRN. 17 June 2002. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  13. ^ Dubie, Denise (2 December 2004). "Opsware to acquire Rendition Networks". Network World. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  14. ^ Dubie, Denise (11 July 2006). "Opsware set to buy Creekpath Systems". Network World. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  15. ^ Gonsalves, Antone (6 March 2007). "Data Center Software Maker Opsware Acquires IConclude". Information Week. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  16. ^ "NEC to Resell Opsware Software in Japan". Whir Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  17. ^ "NTT Communications to Be Flagship Customer in Asia Pacific for Opsware Network Automation System; Further Strengthens NTT Com's Leadership in Data Center Automation and Utility Computing". News Release. Business Wire. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Opsware Targets BMC and CA". Technology News. Red Orbit. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Tony Baer on HP's Acquisition of Opsware". Process Monitoring. ebizQ. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  20. ^ "John O'Farrell Joins Silver Spring Network As Executive Vice President of Business Development". News & Events. Silver Spring Networks. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  21. ^ "Silver Spring Networks: The Cisco of Smart Grid?". CleanTech. GigaOM. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  22. ^ "Dubliner John O’Farrell is turning things around in Silicon Valley": The Irish Times, David O'Dwyer, published 7/7/2016
  23. ^ "Andreessen Horowitz’s First GP — John O’Farrell — Moves Out of Investing and Into Advisory Role": All Things D, Kara Swisher, published 7/30/2013
  24. ^ "Here's who's getting rich now that Slack is a public company worth over $20 billion": Business Insider, Julie Bort, published 6/20/20
  25. ^ McBride, Sarah. "Andreessen Horowitz partners pledge income to charity". Reuters. Retrieved 3 August 2012.

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