Andreessen Horowitz associate Marc Andreessen
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Andreessen Horowitz is launching a multibillion-dollar fund to put money into a unstable ecosystem it is betting shall be as influential because the web.
The Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency, based by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, introduced its new $2.2 billion cryptocurrency-focused fund on Thursday. It plans to deploy that capital throughout blockchain and digital asset start-ups.
“The scale of this fund speaks to the dimensions of the chance earlier than us: crypto just isn’t solely the way forward for finance however, as with the web within the early days, is poised to rework all elements of our lives,” Katie Haun and Chris Dixon, companions who run Andreessen’s cryptocurrency group, mentioned in a weblog put up.
The corporate’s first crypto-focused fund was launched three years in the past, throughout what’s now referred to as “crypto winter.” That yr, the worth of bitcoin cratered roughly 80% from the highs in 2017. The most recent fund additionally comes at one other bearish second for bitcoin.
The world’s unique cryptocurrency has misplaced roughly half its worth because the excessive close to $60,000 in April. This week alone, it is on observe for a 20% loss. Haun and Dixon famous the asset class’s volatility, and mentioned “costs could fluctuate however innovation continues to extend by every cycle.”
“We consider that the subsequent wave of computing innovation shall be pushed by crypto,” the companions wrote, including that they are “radically optimistic about crypto’s potential.”
The agency is thought for early bets on firms like Facebook, Instagram, Lyft and Pinterest. Andreessen Horowitz made its first transfer into the digital asset area by Coinbase in 2013. Coinbase went public through a direct itemizing this yr, and is down roughly 50% from its itemizing day excessive.
Andreessen Horowitz can also be an early investor in Fb-backed digital forex mission libra, now referred to as diem, which has gone by a collection of rebranding and confronted opposition from world regulators.
The agency has stakes in firms like OpeanSea and Dapper Labs, powering the latest NFT increase and mentioned it plans to concentrate on “decentralized finance.” Often known as “defi,” the time period used to explain conventional finance purposes, like lending or banking, constructed on the identical know-how that underlies bitcoin. The agency mentioned it plans to carry these crypto investments for a decade or extra.
These digital asset investments are being pushed by companions Haun, a former Justice Division prosecutor, and Dixon, who based and ran two start-ups earlier than becoming a member of Andreessen Horowitz. Haun helped launch the Justice Division’s first authorities activity drive for crypto and labored on the primary high-profile cryptocurrency-related case, Silk Street.
Andreessen Horowitz additionally introduced a wave of recent hires for the fund, together with former Securities and Trade Director Invoice Hinman, who will be a part of the agency as an advisory associate. Rachael Horwitz, who led communications at Twitter, Google and Fb, joined as an working associate.