Axios Pro: Fintech DealsThought Bubble

March 22, 2022

Axios Pro Exclusive Content

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

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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."

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