Andreessen Horowitz (AH) is launching a USD 300 million fund that is laser-focused on cryptocurrencies. AH is calling it the a16z fund. This will not be their first venture in the crypto space. The highly successful silicon valley venture capital (VC) group invested in Coinbase in the past. As a part of their new venture, AH has made Katie Haun, a general partner.
Katie Haun sits on the board of directors at Coinbase. Before she worked in the world of cryptos, she worked at the US Department of Justice (USDOJ). In fact, she is credited with being the USDOJ’s first-ever coordinator for digital assets. During her time at the USDOJ, Katie Haun worked to unravel the Silk Road, an online marketplace for illegal goods. She also fought against organized crime.
Ben Horowitz, who is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, had this to say about Katie Haun, “As I learned more about her career, I was even more impressed. She stood up to murderous motorcycle gangs and cartels, shut down organized crime, nailed RICO murderers, uncovered the largest money laundering and cybercrime rings, and stopped white collar crime and public corruption. Through it all, her prosecutorial record was whatever and 0. She never lost a case. Not once. Not ever.”
It’s HODL For Andreessen Horowitz
AH’s new fund is designed for the long haul. Instead of taking a short-term view of the crypto market, they are looking to build value over time.
Chris Dixon is a general partner at AH. He will be working with Katie Haun. In a recent blog post, he had this to say about the new fund they will be managing, “We plan to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions. If there is another ‘crypto winter,’ we’ll keep investing aggressively.”
This view fits into the investment philosophy that AH had already demonstrated with their crypto investments. Chris Dixon points this out in the same blog post, with, “We’ve been investing in crypto assets for 5+ years,” and goes on to say, “We’ve never sold any of those investments, and don’t plan to any time soon. We structured the a16z crypto fund to be able to hold investments for 10+ years.”
It is clear that AH is looking for ways to enter the crypto market under any conditions. One way to read this is that current prices offer value to investors, despite the volatility in crypto prices.
AH may be responding to the growing popularity of ICO’s with their new fund. While it isn’t widely discussed, ICO’s have changed the way that VC can influence start-ups. Not only can a small company raise money via public token sales, but they also don’t have to cough up equity, or give VC a say in how their company is run.
The absence of equity all makes the traditional VC model much harder to follow. Companies like Telegram and Block.one (EOS) have shown the established VC community that there is lots of capital out there for new ideas, and they don’t have to accept the rules that VC created.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.