Andreessen Horowitz has launched a $300 million crypto fund dedicated to investing in cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-related projects.
The fund, named a16z crypto, signals that the firm is diving deeper into the cryptocurrency space to grow its existing portfolio, which includes digital currency exchange Coinbase.
In a statement posted on the company's blog, general partner Chris Dixon states that the a16z crypto fund provides the firm with the flexibility to invest in any area of its choosing from traditional equities to digital tokens. As a result, the firm will be able to invest in both companies and the tokens those companies create.
Emphasizing how bullish the firm is on the crypto industry, Dixon writes that the fund won't be deterred by market conditions, and it will ultimately focus on crypto-powered services with “practical use cases” that could ultimately be used by “hundreds of millions.” Dixon went on to iterate that Andreessen Horowitz structured the new fund to hold “investments for 10+ years.”
“We have an 'all weather' fund. We plan to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions,” he explains. “If there is another 'crypto winter,' we’ll keep investing aggressively.”
The firm also revealed that the fund would invest in companies at any stage and in any location, the investments ranging from blockchain-related projects to initial coin offerings. These investments will offer more than just capital injection into cryptocurrency companies. Any companies Andreessen Horowitz invests in will also have access to “operational support,” which will purportedly help them to scale their businesses faster.
The fund’s operations will be overseen by a group of general managers, including Chris Dixon and former federal prosecutor Katie Haun, who joins the firm as its first female general partner.
Haun got her first taste for cryptocurrency during the investigation and conviction of two federal agents involved with the Silk Road and the Mt. Gox exchange hack. She also sits on the board of Coinbase where she chairs the company’s audit and risk committees.
VC firms have long avoided cryptocurrency businesses due to regulatory uncertainty. But as U.S. officials offer more clarity to this end, VC firms such as Union Square Ventures and Sequoia Capital have been making investments in the space.