Andreessen Horowitz announced on Monday, June 25, that it has launched a16z crypto, which is a new $300 million fund to invest in cryptocurrency companies and protocols. Moreover, the VC powerhouse hired Katie Haun who will be its first ever female general partner to co-lead the fund alongside Chris Dixon, the company’s veteran general partner, and crypto investor.
The top Silicon Valley venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz, a.k.a. a16z does not seem to be stepping off the cryptocurrencies realm even with a massive downtrend that has been going on since early 2018.
Last week, the firm announced its new dedicated cryptocurrency fund closed from a subset of limited partners, which has provided $300 million in capital commitments.
A Deep-rooted Belief in Crypto Asset Investments
Chris Dixon, who has served as the firm’s blockchain and crypto investment specialist, will co-lead a team of eight members. Dixon explained, in a statement, that the firm envisions to invest aggressively and consistently over time, regardless of market conditions and short-term price evolution. He added that a16z crypto is structured to hold investments for a 10+ years period.
The statement reads:
“We are long-term, patient investors. We have been investing in crypto assets for 5+ years. We have never sold any of those assets, and don’t plan to any time soon.”
The new fund will invest in crypto companies and protocols at different development and maturity stages through providing seed capital for early pre-launched ventures and investing in established later stage companies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Investments will be conducted in the forms of traditional instruments like equities, debt financing, and convertible notes, as well as token purchases.
In fact, Andreessen Horowitz has already been one of the first big VC firms to back off crypto companies. The fund, reportedly, led the $25 million Series B fundraising round of Coinbase back in 2013.
Other notable blockchain projects include: 1) a16z backed The Orchid Protocol, a blockchain-based marketplace for bandwidth exchange; 2) Harbor, the compliant tokenized securities platform; 3) Basis, the price stable cryptocurrency; and 4) Cryptokitties, the Ethereum-based dApp and one of the first yet most successful games ever built on a blockchain.
More recently, the firm led the investment during the $20 million Initial Coin Offering launched by TrustToken, is a platform for creating asset-backed tokens.
Katie Haun, the First-ever Female General Partner at a16z
Alongside Chris Dixon, the firm named Kathryn Haun as its newest hire to co-lead the efforts of a16z crypto. In fact, the announcement was made public the same day, making Haun the first female general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
Prior to joining the company, Haun worked as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice for over a decade. Her work consisted of tackling fraud, cybercrime, and enforcing corporate compliance.
Haun made a name for herself after her pivotal role during the criminal investigation of the Silk Road marketplace. She successfully prosecuted and convicted two rogue federal agents who stole millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin while working undercover, as reported by Quartz.
Furthermore, Haun teaches a cryptocurrency class at Stanford University and sits on the board of HackerOne and Coinbase. She also has close ties with the crypto world, where she reportedly invested in companies during different funding rounds and advised some others like Chia, and Chain as reported by Ben Horowitz.