$300 Million ‘a16z crypto’ Fund Launches in Watershed Hiring for Silicon Valley VC
Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz – one of the blockchain technology and crypto sector’s most active venture capital firms – is doubling down on their pro-crypto sentiment after Monday saw them launch a $300 million fund dubbed a16z crypto.
Andreessen Horowitz’s fund – whose title is an extension on the VC giant’s distinguishable nickname (i.e., a16z) – is being co-led by two of their general partners: the newly-appointed Kathryn “Katie” Haun and crypto enthusiast Chris Dixon, according Monday’s press release. A team of six “crypto specialists” will work with Haun and Dixon, also.
Haun Sparks New Dawn For a16z
The appointment of Haun marked a significant milestone for the nine-year-old Andreessen Horowitz, as she represents their first-ever female general partner. Alongside news of a16z crypto, cofounder Ben Horowitz published a separate announcement dedicated to their hiring of the well-accomplished Haun.
— Kathryn Haun (@katie_haun) June 25, 2018
Notably, Haun formerly served as a federal prosecutor, and – among a slew of personal accomplishments – was responsible for leading the first government task force on cryptocurrencies. View her LinkedIn page for more.
Anyone who was learning about crypto knew who she was and had great things to say.” – Horowitz
a16z Crypto To Go Solo
According to an interview with TechCrunch, Haun and Dixon stated that a16z crypto will operate as a separate legal entity to Andreessen Horowitz’s other funds.
Explaining why, the two lead investors cited issues the VC firm had previously identified in relation to how much capital they were legally able to allocate to the flourishing, yet highly unregulated, crypto space.
We structured the a16z crypto fund to be able to hold investments for 10+ years.” – Dixon
Notably, this very same regulatory roadblock was alluded to just days ago by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures in his explanation of why his prominent VC firm continued to invest in crypto hedge funds, rather than specific crypto and blockchain startups.
Fund To Adopt HODL Mindset
In the Monday press release authored by Dixon, he made it clear that a16z crypto is not concerned with speculative investing. This is not to say the $300 million venture fund will not invest into specific crypto coins and tokens, of course, but it will simply represent part of an all-encompassing approach that will see a16z crypto invest in blockchain-based crypto companies and protocols at all stages of development, “regardless of market conditions.”
A long-term perspective will very much characterize a16z crypto. It is this investment philosophy that has guided Andreessen Horowitz’s plays in the crypto space to date – as stated below by Dixon. This ethos has resulted in them having led the Series B funding round for Coinbase several years ago; just one of roughly twenty crypto investments made by the VC firm.
We’ve been investing in crypto assets for 5+ years. We’ve never sold any of those investments, and don’t plan to any time soon.” – Dixon