Andreessen Horowitz become first VC firm with fund dedicated to crypto projects

Venture capitalists will plough $300m into crypto projects – including investing in coins themselves.

The Silicon Valley based start-up backer Andreessen Horowitz has amassed a $300m fund for investing in cryptocurrency and ICO start-ups, according to reports in The Financial Times (sub required). The fund allows investors interested in backing crypto-tech firms to get into the market, under the expert guidance of the fund’s manager Katie Haun.

With that position, Haun becomes the first female general partner at the firm. Less depressing, and more relevant, however, is her experience as  a former prosecutor for the US Department of Justice – who led its investigation of Mt.Gox, and some other high-profile investigations in the sector.

Surprisingly, even relatively adventurous venture capital firms – such and Andreessen Horowitz – have been somewhat bypassed by the ICO boom. That’s due to the very nature of the beast – and the perceived instability of the techno-crowdfunding business model it operates under – which has democratised the process, and bought down the price of entry significantly. Now, with an influential amount of cash behind it, this fund is looking for tech start-ups that could end up as the next Google, Facebook, Twitter or Uber.

“You squint one way and it [ICOs] looks like a whole new asset class – you squint the other way and it looks a lot like the venture capital world,” Andreesen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon is quoted as saying.

“The tech incumbents are very centralised,” he continued, before adding that decentralised tech, and the apps that will be built using it are “inherently misaligned with their existing businesses.”

According to the report, the crypto VC fund will act in a similar manner to a hedge fund, though it won’t actively trade its holdings – preferring to take long-term bets on success 10 years or more into the future.

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