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Haun’s vision for the firm is to provide more than capital for web3 projects. The firm pledges to help founders deliver “system change”.
Katie Haun, former lead of the a16z fund, has launched her own venture capital firm. Haun announced the launch of Haun Ventures, with a blog post in which she revealed that the firm had already raised $1.5 billion. This is the largest debut venture fund by a female founding partner.
The VC firm will focus on investing in web3 start-ups. Funding will be doled out on two platforms, a $500 million fund for early-stage start-ups and a $1 billion fund for the “acceleration” of already-established projects.
Besides investing in start-ups the firm will also invest in select tokens issued by the start-ups.
“That’s something I’ve learned through being involved in deploying three other crypto funds: there’s still a ton of potential in crypto and Web3 equity business models, but also token business models. I don’t think that you can really be a crypto investor without holding tokens,” Haun says.
Haun Betting on Web3 with Her New Fund
Haun noted that following the “DeFi Summer” of 2020, crypto use cases have increased beyond finance to include gaming, art and content. The crypto investor anticipates more growth in the space in the next decade to include sectors such as transport and commerce, fashion, sport and music.
“We think consumer demand for digitally-native experiences and goods will continue to increase. As more people embrace these products, there will be a shift in individuals’ expectations for greater control of their personal data and a new generation of creators will demand and enjoy better economics. We think open platforms will win through loyalty, transparency, and trust by delivering better incentives than the walled gardens that came before,” explained she.
Venture Contributors: a Different Kind of VC Firm
Haun’s vision for the firm is to provide more than capital for web3 projects. The firm pledges to help founders deliver what it calls “system change”. Beyond engaging skilled engineers, Haun claims the firm will be looking for ‘experienced operators with the ability to shape public opinion and policy. This, in a bid to correct misconceptions, liaises with policymakers and spotlight the use cases of blockchain tech.
The former US Department of Justice prosecutor, who also seats on the OpenSea board, created one of the government’s first crypto task forces. She joined the Coinbase board in 2017 where she met Chris Dixon, with whom she would go on and co-launch the crypto-centric fund a16z. Haun was Andreessen’s first female general partner. She left the firm in December 2021 to focus on her own venture in which Andreessen Horowitz will be a limited partner.
Part of the nine-member team includes members of her former team at a16z. These are, marketing chief Rachael Horwitz, Head of Global Policy Tomicah Tilleman and Communications Lead Nicholas Pacilio. Sam Rosenblum from Polychain Capital has joined the firm alongside Chris Lehane, former Policy Chief at Airbnb, who takes on the role of Chief Strategy Officer.