Marc Andreessen will go down in history with the development of the first widely used browser on the World Wide Web, Mosaic. During his studies at the University of Illinois at Ubrana-Champaign, he helped found Mosaic in 1992. A year later, Marc moved to California and co-founded Netscape, which once again revolutionized the tech world.
Unfortunately, a jealous Microsoft soon launched a sub-par browser called Internet Explorer and went on to stifle Netscape by pre-installing Internet Explorer and preselecting it as the default web browser on all new copies of Windows. Netscape usage declined, and in 1999 AOL acquired what was left of Marc for $ 4.3 billion, a fraction of its top valuation. The acquisition was contingent on Marc agreeing to serve as AOL’s chief technology officer, a position he held for exactly seven months.
Next, Marc and a partner started a software company called LoudCloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $ 1.6 billion in 2007. This sale gave Marc the money he needed to become a venture capital investor.
In 2009 Mark and his longtime friend / colleague Ben Horowitz founded Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen Horowitz’s most successful investments to date include early investments in the following companies:
Thanks to these investments and the LoudCloud sale, Marc Andreessen now has a net worth of $ 2 billion.
Obviously, $ 2 billion is an extremely impressive sum, but it pales in comparison to some of Marc’s contemporary tech founders. For example Jeff Bezos.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com exactly 92 days after Marc founded Netscape (April 4, 1994 vs. July 5, 1994). Today Jeff is worth $ 197 billion, a whopping $ 195 billion more than Marc.
Marc has 1% of Jeff’s net worth, which makes his most recent property purchase even more impressive.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Marc Andreessen has just broken the California property purchase record with the acquisition of a 7-acre cliff-top property in Malibu. The buying price?
$ 177 million
This price exceeds the previous California record by $ 12 million. The owner of the previous California record? Jeff Bezos.
Bezos held the California record from February 12, 2020 to date, thanks to the $ 165 million he spent on a 10-acre property in Beverly Hills. Jeff’s purchase also slipped one position (to 3rd place) on the most expensive homes ever sold in the United States.
The record for the most expensive home sold in U.S. history still belongs to hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who paid $ 238 million in January 2019 for the top four floors of an unfinished New York building at 220 Central Park South.
Marc’s new Malibu Estate
Marc’s purchase price of $ 177 million goes to a fashion magnate named Serge Azria. Sam made his fortune as the founder / designer of the Joie, Equipment and Current / Elliott brands. I had never heard of any of these brands before, but my wife assures me they are big deals. Sam’s brother, the late Max Azria, was the founder of BCBG, another brand I haven’t heard of but which is apparently a big deal.
Serge and his wife Florence bought the seven-acre Malibu property for $ 42 million in 2013. They went on to pour tens of millions of dollars into renovations that lasted four years. The sprawling property has several buildings including two guest houses, a tennis center, an equestrian center, a cinema, and a spa.
Serge and Florence bought the property from Jerry Weintraub, the late film producer behind the Karate Kid and Oceans 11 franchises.
Jerry, who died in 2015, purchased the first 4 acres of this property for $ 950,000 in 1978. That’s about $ 4 million in today’s dollars. He bought the second lot in 1980 for $ 450,000 and expanded the property to seven acres. That’s about $ 1.5 million today. So All-In paid Jerry the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $ 5.5 million for a property that had just sold for $ 177 million 🙂
Here is an aerial photo of Marc’s new property in Malibu, I’ve outlined his property in red:
I know what you’re thinking. Forget Marc’s new mansion, what the hell is that huge spaceship right on his left ??? !!! I’ll get to that in a moment.
First I would like to point out the two houses that I have marked in blue on the left. Two years ago Whatsapp founder Jan Koum paid $ 100 million for the first of these two properties … the Marc that is closest. In February of that year, Jan paid $ 87 million for the other mansion, which gave him a lovely little two-house estate of $ 187 million that spans 5.6 acres combined. Jan owns approximately $ 400 million worth of California real estate. It’s worth $ 12 billion because he sold Whatsapp to Facebook for $ 14 billion in 2014. Not bad for a guy who grew up on food stamps!
Jan is no longer connected to Facebook and has kind of bad relationships, but if he ever wants to check his former company he can go three doors to Marc’s house … Remember, Marc is still on the board of directors of Facebook.
The house to the right of Jan Koum’s property belongs to a woman named Tamara Hughes Gustavson. Tamara is the largest shareholder in Public Storage, founded by her father Bradley Wayne Hughes. Tamara’s 11% stake gives her $ 4.6 billion in net worth.
Ok, let’s talk about the spaceship.
You can see part of the spaceship and part of Marc’s new mansion in the video I’m embedding below from a neighboring lot that was for sale in 2016. You can get a pretty good look at the spaceship at the 42 second mark as the drone heads toward the ocean. And then at 1:12 you can see the front of the spaceship lot facing the sea:
According to my land research, this 10-acre spacecraft property is owned by a company called “Bill Bell Productions, Inc.”
Anyone temporarily familiar with the entertainment industry or Malibu real estate history will associate this company with William J. Bell. Who is William J. Bell and how did he make enough money to buy what is perhaps the most incredible piece of land in all of Malibu? Two words:
William and his wife Lee Phillip Bell were the husband and wife’s creative forces who essentially invented the soap opera. Together, the Bells created “Another World” (which aired nearly 9,000 episodes between 1964 and 1999), “The Young and the Restless” (which aired over 12,000 episodes since it premiered in 1973), and “The Bold and the Beautiful” (the aired over 8,000 episodes since it premiered in 1987).
William died in 2005 at the age of 78. Lee Phillip died in February 2020 at the age of 91. They left three children, a daughter named Lauralee, best known for her role as cricket on “The Young and the Restless” since 1983; and two sons, William Jr. and Bradley. Bradley is the executive producer and lead writer of “The Bold and the Beautiful” and William Jr. is the president of the family-run Bell-Phillip Television Productions.
I’ve driven past the spaceship mansion dozens of times in the past few years. I don’t know what was on this property before, but the spaceship has been under construction for years.
There you have it! Congratulations to Marc on his new record breaking villa!
Oh … just one more thing …
People who follow CNW closely may have noticed that I’m easily obsessed with property taxes on houses like Marc’s. At $ 177 million, Marc will owe roughly $ 1.8 million per year in property taxes. That will take just over $ 3 million in gross revenue each year. Plus, I can almost guarantee you that the property tax bill for a property like this one will be on the order of several hundred thousand a year. Let’s say Marc has to make $ 3.5 million every year just to pay those two bills. Have not yet paid a gardener, water bill, normal insurance bill …