‘a16z Crypto’: Andreessen Horowitz Launches $300 Million Crypto Fund

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 4 min read
‘a16z Crypto’: Andreessen Horowitz Launches $300 Million Crypto Fund
Photo: Milagros Mohr / Flickr

The new a16z crypto fund will be focused towards investing in cryptocurrency projects and companies with a long-term goal spanning to over a decade.

After the recent meltdown in the cryptocurrency market that took place in the last few weeks, there has been a surprising trend witnessed where analysts have instead turned more confident regarding the future of virtual digital currencies. Famous crypto trader Brain Kelly along with Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinsin expressed very bullish views on the bright future of cryptocurrencies.

In a further push to bring some fresh optimism in the market surrounding cryptocurrencies, Silicon Valley’s one of the most prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has finally announced the launch of its $300 million fund focused on digital currencies. In his official blog post, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon mentions that the fund, which and has been named a16z crypto, will invest in several different cryptocurrency companies, tokens, coins, and protocols.

The fund is looking to establish itself as a long-term player in the cryptocurrency holdings investments and doesn’t seem to be concerned regarding the day-to-day fluctuations taking place in the crypto market.

Besides, one of the ice-breaking steps that Andreessen Horowitz has taken is hiring Kathryn Haun as the first ever female general partner at the venture capital firm. Ms. Haun will be co-leading this $300 million cryptocurrency fund along with Chris Dixon. The plan is to invest consistently in this space over the period of next five years even during the times of “crypto winter,” as witnessed recently. Dixon said:

“We’ve been investing in crypto assets for five-plus years. We’ve never sold any of those investments, and don’t plan to anytime soon,”

He also believes that the products and services developed using the revolutionary blockchain technology will be used someday by “hundreds of millions and eventually billions of people.” Dixon further added:

“That takes time. We think that, in the same way that if you went back and invested in social networks 15 years ago, the right answer would have been to hold onto those investments for 10-plus years. It really took that long for those networks to kind of get to scale and for people to really realize their full value.”

During an interview, Haun and Dixon said that the a16z crypto fund would be operating as a completely different legal identity isolated from the firm’s other funds. Dixon reasoned this decision by saying:

“This is doubling down, committing to crypto and building a team that is focused on it.”

Adding more weight to this decision, Haun stated:

“We want to maintain our flexibility. We both share the view that this is evolving and in early days. A lot of what we are investing in hasn’t been invented yet.”

Haun’s inclusion as the co-leader of such a big crypto fund will undoubtedly encourage more females to participate in the cryptocurrency space over the period. Haun said that she has been especially interested in the applications using the blockchain technology which allows people to be in control of their data thereby maintaining a high level of privacy and security. Haun said:

“The basic architecture of crypto is to give power back to individuals. And I think there are a lot of promising ideas that we’re hearing about just now.”

Before this, Haun has been leading some critical positions in the industry. For almost a decade, Haun has served as a federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice, where she focused on digital assets, cybercrime, and fraud. She has played a crucial role in the investigation of Silk Road black market under covering cases of fake passports and heroine.

Currently, Haun sits on the board of Coinbase and HackerOne and also teaches at Stanford. She said that she feels this transition from prosecutor to venture capitalist as neutral, further sharing her believes that fundamentally, being a prosecutor is in sourcing out the good from the bad. “So I think when my team is talking about separating out the wheat from the chaff, in terms of projects and people, just having that sense will translate well,” Haun added.

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