Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Andreessen Horowitz announced Monday that it has raised $300 million to invest in cryptocurrency-related startups, and that it will be led by former federal prosecutor Kathryn Haun.
Why it matters: Haun, who becomes Andreessen Horowitz's first female partner, is best known in tech circles for taking down a corrupt FBI agent involved in the infamous Silk Road investigation, and also for having founded the government's first-ever crypto task force.
- Andreessen Horowitz has invested in crypto assets for years, but was bumping up against a 20% limit of "non-qualifying investments" out of its general fund. So it decided to raise a dedicated one.
- The fund will primary invest in crypto startups, via equity, convertible notes or tokens. But it also will buy and hold unaffiliated crypto assets (e.g., Bitcoin, Ether).
- Andreessen Horowitz first became acquainted with Haun last summer when she joined the board of Coinbase, an Andreessen Horowitz portfolio company.
- Haun tells Axios that, while teaching at Stanford after leaving the Department of Justice, she began making crypto investments. "I think becoming [a venture capitalist] is just a natural part of my transition."
- She becomes the firm's first-ever female general partner, and also its first to have not previously been a founder or CEO.