March 22, 2022
Good afternoon, Fintech Deals readers!
Situational awareness: Occasionally we will send alerts and thought bubbles when big news breaks. This is one of those moments.
1 big thing: Haun's big haul
Andreessen Horowitz alum Katie Haun, who announced she was venturing out on her own last December, has raised $1.5 billion across two funds to invest in crypto and web3 startups, Axios' Dan Primack writes.
Why it matters: In addition to being the largest fundraise for a solo venture capitalist, it will also make Haun Ventures one of the most well-capitalized crypto-native funds on the market.
Haun was an instrumental member of the a16z crypto team, leading investments and taking board seats at companies like Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN) and NFT marketplace OpenSea.
- Now with her own investment capital — a $500 million early-stage vehicle and a $1 billion "accelerator" fund — she'll be competing with her old firm's $2.2 billion crypto fund.
- Other competitors include Sequoia, which announced a $600 million fund focused on crypto tokens in February; Bain Capital, which introduced a $560 million dedicated crypto fund earlier this month; and Bessemer, which is dedicating $250 million of its own to web3 investments.
The intrigue: How will Haun Ventures differentiate itself from the pack? We expect the firm to replicate some of the a16z playbook and provide value-added platform services to portfolio companies.
- While Haun is the only investing partner today, the firm has made a series of hires to help portfolio companies with high-level strategic counsel.
- Those hires include chief marketing officer Rachael Horwitz, global chief policy officer Tomicah Tillemann, chief strategy officer Chris Lehane, and partner and deal team lead Sam Rosenblum.
Yes, but: With so much dry powder chasing a limited number of deals, some have argued the rise of crypto-native funds has led to an artificially inflated market.
- In a recent CNBC hit, Founders Fund partner Keith Rabois said, "Right now, because of dedicated crypto funds, these people have nothing to do except spend on a certain subset of investments... And that's leading to artificial price distortions."