Andreessen Horowitz, which is one of the leading venture capital firms is all set to bring in its first female general partners, former federal prosecutor Katie Haun, to effectively manage a new $300 million fund that is primarily dedicated to investing in cryptocurrency and various Blockchain-related projects.
Andreessen Horowitz holds a good knowledge of investing in cryptocurrency companies, which even includes the digital-wallet company Coinbase and the game company Cryptokitties. Although, general partner Chris Dixon says that a simple and effective procedure of the creation of fund will help the firm gain more flexibility in making various types of investments. The new fund will help in making an investment in digital tokens along with traditional equities as well. In other words, it will invest not just in companies but in the cryptocurrencies that are created by the companies.
An interesting point to note, Haun got her first exposure in cryptocurrency by investigating two of its best-known scandals. One of the scandals were a case when two federal agents were sentenced on corruption charges during their own investigation of the black market site Silk Road, and the collapse of the Bitcoin exchange service Mt. Gox. It was the year 2015 when she established the government’s prime most cryptocurrency task force that further helped the government get up-to-speed on the technology. She said, “In that process, I ended up knowing the entrepreneurs and realizing the effectiveness of all this technology.”
The same year, in 2015, she too began teaching at Stanford Law School’s first cryptocurrency course. However, as she never wanted to limit her knowledge base, and always wanted to involve in new projects. Consequently, she left her job and joined the board of Coinbase in 2017, where she got to know the partners at Andreessen Horowitz. Despite her background as a prosecutor, Haun always wanted to work on good projects.
VC firms are still not sure about their role in cryptocurrency amid legal qualms, and the growth of the new method of funding primarily known as ‘initial coin offerings,’ or ICOs. During an ICO, the makers of a new cryptocurrency pre-sell definite amounts of their digital tokens to investors, that in turn, help fund creates new technology without inevitably selling ownership stakes in the company to venture capitalists. Undoubtedly the effective creation of a fund by Andreessen Horowitz, one of the best-known firms in Silicon Valley, will enhance legality of the promising industry.
A study shows that ICOs have been able to raise $11.4 billion so far this year. Some cryptocurrency companies have opted the decentralized storage. Publishing company, Protocol Labs pre-sold $52 million in cryptocurrency tokens to mentors including VC firms like Andreessen Horowitz, and Union Square, Sequoia, before proposing an ICO to accredited investors.
Dixon expressed pleasure by saying that the firm has been able to offer entrepreneurs things that an ICO can’t. “We have 80 people in our operating team who aim to provide support to the companies we invest in. Every individual in our team possesses a deep expertise in regulatory issues, marketing, recruiting, general management.”