Andreessen Horowitz has a new crypto fund — and its first female general partner is running it with Chris Dixon – TechCrunch

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Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz has some huge, and greater, information right now. First, it closed a devoted crypto fund late final week from a subset of its restricted companions, who’ve offered the agency with $300 million in capital commitments. The fund had grow to be the worst-kept secret within the enterprise trade, largely as a result of so many different enterprise companies try to determine their very own associated methods and have been watching intently AH’s sluggish however rising variety of investments in crypto-related startups over the previous 5 years.

9-year-old Andreessen Horowitz has additionally, in the end, introduced aboard its first feminine common accomplice: Katie Haun, whose star has quietly been rising within the Bay Space over for the previous couple of years. Haun, who’s main Andreessen’s crypto fund with common accomplice Chris Dixon (an early and unwavering advocate for cryptocurrencies), is form of an enormous deal, so it’s no shock that AH nabbed her.

Amongst her different many accomplishments, Haun spent greater than a decade as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Division of Justice, the place she targeted on fraud, cybercrime, and company compliance no-no’s alongside the SEC, FBI, and Treasury. Based on Haun’s bio, she was additionally the DOJ’s first-ever coordinator for digital property, and she or he led investigations into the Mt. Gox hack and the duty power that investigated and finally took down the web drug market Silk Highway. Haun can be a lecturer at Stanford Enterprise College and she or he’s a director on the board of the digital change Coinbase, which was backed early on by AH and the place Haun received to know Dixon, who can be on the board. (Each are conserving their seats.)

We talked with each Haun and Dixon earlier right now to be taught extra in regards to the fund, together with how they’re excited about “exits” within the cryptocurrency world when there haven’t been an entire bunch (but). Our dialog has been edited evenly for size.

TC: You’ve raised $300 million from a few of the similar buyers who fund Andreessen Horowitz’s flagship funds. Will this fund in any approach impression the subsequent flagship fund? Does the agency intend to spend extra time on crypto and fewer on different, extra conventional investments?

CD: No, we’re nonetheless full-speed forward on all conventional areas. The fund is approach for us to double down on crypto and never in any approach scale back our dedication to enterprise, shopper, or bio investing.

TC: Can this new fund put money into different crypto funds, as Union Sq. has been actively doing?

CD: It may, however we don’t plan to. We invested in Polychain and some others about one-and-a-half years in the past once we had been determining our new crypto technique. Now, with the complete fund and investing in each early-stage and later-stage in crypto tasks, the mandate is to be investing instantly, although [we] by no means say by no means to something.

TC: What number of crypto investments has the agency made over time, and can any of them be tucked into this new fund?

CD: We’ve made about 20 crypto investments during the last 5 years. [Bitcoin competitor] Ripple was my first funding in January 2013 and Coinbase later in 2013, then we did, which turned Earn [and sold earlier this year to Coinbase]. We few others — OpenBazaar and Mediachain —  then the house received much more fascinating with the rise of Ethereum and proficient entrepreneurs coming into the house. These [investments] will stay within the funds the place we put them in.

TC: Have you ever made investments from this new fund?

CD: We’re in course of with just a few, however nothing that’s finalized.

TC: How have you ever been structuring these investments?

CD: Some are fairness investments, however with token provisions in investments [meaning if they create a token, investors get access to them]. SAFTs are one other factor we’ve accomplished. We’ve additionally accomplished direct, over-the-counter purchases of Bitcoin and Ethereum. However we had been operating into limits with what we may do out of the principle fund. Now we’ll be capable to do all types of issues, so long as [we’re talking with] nice entrepreneurs engaged on huge and necessary tasks with financial phrases that make sense.

TC: What’s an exit going to appear to be with these offers?

CD: it’s query. Thus far, we’ve by no means offered any of our crypto property. Lots of people out there are day buying and selling however we very a lot see this as investing. We’d count on any funding to have a five- to ten-year holding interval. A few of these tasks may have tokens which can be freely tradable, so there’s the potential to have an exit that approach. The most certainly consequence is we put money into an early-stage undertaking and we obtain cash or tokens in change for [our commitment] and if the undertaking turns into profitable, these digital property admire when thesis is performed out. But when we put money into some undertaking that will likely be utilized by lots of of hundreds of thousands of individuals, we wouldn’t wish to exit till that’s realized.

TC: And I assume you’ll not be paying your buyers again in tokens?

CD: No. We’ve LPs preferring fiat cash.

TC: How do you concentrate on possession stakes in these firms?

CD: The normal enterprise mannequin of proudly owning 10 to 20 % of firm isn’t real looking on this world. We do if a undertaking may be very early stage, the valuation ought to mirror that. However broadly, we’re pondering extra by way of worth: can this funding be large enough that it returns the fund by itself? So we don’t assume by way of percentages however worth. We predict this subsequent wave of firms might be 10 occasions as huge [as their predecessors].

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