a16Z Launches Largest Ever $2.2 Billion Cryptocurrency-focused Fund

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched the third and biggest multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency-focused fund to continue to invest in the market.

Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the firm announced its new $2.2 billion fund on Thursday. It plans to deploy capital across blockchain, digital assets, next-generation payments, decentralized finance (DeFi), Web 3, and more. Katie Haun and Chris Dixon, partners who run Andreessen’s cryptocurrency group said,

“The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.”

The company launched its first crypto-focused fund three years ago during crypto winter. Currently, Bitcoin has halved from its all-time high, and altcoins have lost even more of their value.

But as Haun and Dixon noted, “prices may fluctuate but innovation continues to increase through each cycle.”

“We believe that the next wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto,” they wrote, adding that they’re “radically optimistic about crypto’s potential.”

The firm is known for its early bets on companies like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Lyft. It made the first move into the crypto asset space in 2013 through Coinbase, which went public this year. Additionally, it is now an early investor in Facebook-backed stablecoin Diem, previously known as Libra. The firm has also joined the NFT boom by investing in Dapper Labs and OpenSea.

Andreessen Horowitz said it plans to hold these crypto investments for a decade or more.

The firm also announced new hires for the fund, including former SEC director Bill Hinman as an advisory partner and former undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs Brent McIntosh as an advisor.

For the global head of policy, Tomicah Tillemann, the former chair of the Global Blockchain Business Council and an adviser to the White House, has been appointed. Anthony Albanese, who left the New York Stock Exchange last year, will serve as the new COO, while Rachael Horwitz, who led communications at Twitter, Facebook, and Google, is joining as an operating partner.

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Author: AnTy

VC Backed Startup, Deel, Partners With Coinbase to Roll Out Cryptocurrency Payroll Service

Deel, a San Francisco based crypto startup backed by Andreesen Horowitz, is launching a crypto payroll tool that would allow international workers to get paid in different cryptocurrencies.

Deel raised about $44 million in funding ($14M Series A and $30M Series B) during the ongoing pandemic and specialized in offering payroll and compliance services to remote workers internationally. The new payroll tool would allow the Deel customers to accept their payroll in top cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP with instant withdrawals.

Deel has partnered with Coinbase to offer its payroll tool, and users would be required to have or create a Coinbase account to use the new services.

Dan Westgarth, Deel’s chief operating officer, explained that the motive behind creating such a payroll tool was to help international workers to save hefty remittance costs charged by traditional banks and money transfer services. He explained,

“A question on a lot of people’s tongues is: will it be widely adopted? Will the companies paying these people to be willing to opt into it?

Well, we built it in a way that the company doesn’t choose. The remote worker chooses.”

“So I can be working for an old, boring institution, run by a load of old guys who don’t understand crypto and oppose it.

They could pay me in U.S. dollars, but given I’m a Deel user and given I get paid through Deel; I could elect to have my paycheck delivered in XRP — instantly.”

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Author: James W

a16z Analyzes Crypto Price-Innovation Cycle; Appears ‘Chaotic’ But Showing Steady Growth

Popular crypto oriented VC, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), has released an analysis on the ‘crypto price-innovation cycle’. According to this report, the crypto market moves in cycles alternating between high and low activity. Based on the stats gathered, there have been three cycles since Bitcoin was launched.

The very first market peak was in 2011 followed by 2013 and finally 2017 when BTC rallied to its all-time high. Andreessen Horowitz noted that these cycles are influenced by an underlying order which starts with a surge in Bitcoin’s price. Consequently, the activity on social media spikes together with a general interest leading to more contribution in the crypto space. Startups then join the market resulting to new products which in turn inspire new people.

Notably the Compound annual growth rates (CAGR) for all metrics have consistently increased despite the up and down trends within the cycles.

Source; Andreessen Horowitz

The Three Crypto Market Cycles

As highlighted earlier, Andreessen Horowitz found the crypto market to have lived through three cycles given the above analogy. During the first one (2009-2012), stakeholders were still intrigued on Bitcoin’s value proposition although it didn’t seem to have any practical use. This cycle peaked in 2011 which saw some of the largest wallet providers, miners and exchanges make a debut in the crypto market.

In the second cycle (2012-2016), Bitcoin became known past the tech world. The cycle peaked in 2013 and is characterized by startups joining the crypto industry and the launch of Ethereum blockchain.

As for the final cycle (2016-2019), crypto implications captured the attention of mainstream media. Since BTC rallied in 2017, the space has seen more developers, startups and exciting projects featuring games, finance and payments amongst others.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z Launches A $515 Million Crypto Fund, Up 70% from 1st Fund

In the wake of the recent bull rally, Andreessen Horowitz has doubled down on cryptocurrencies as the firm announced its second crypto fund.

This “commitment to crypto is an investment in the long-term development of the internet,” specified the company.

Two years back, the company raised $300 million for its bet on cryptocurrency, its first investment fund that focused on bitcoin and other cryptos.

Now, they have raised $515 million for this second fund that focuses on blockchain technology. Chris Dixon, co-leader of the fund said,

“It’s very rare that major, new computing paradigms come along, and we think this is on the scale of cloud and mobile for the Internet.”

The areas the company is excited about include new generation payments, in which “payment blockchains are picking up where Bitcoin left off” and provide much-needed upgrade and modern user experience with reduced friction.

Bitcoin is still a part of it as a “modern store of value” which is “scarce, secure, durable, portable, and censorship-resistant” as another area of interest. “Gold has long played the role of a fiat substitute, but Bitcoin is a digital alternative that is gaining acceptance and adoption around the world,” read the official announcement.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is another they are interested in along with Web 3. Though still in its early build-out, “high-performance programmable blockchains will make decentralized network development much more accessible.”

The earliest VC to believe in Bitcoin and blockchain technology, Andreessen Horowitz has been investing in crypto since 2014.

From cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), stablecoin project MakerDAO, DeFi project Compound, to mobile payments startup Celo along with Protocol Labs, crypto custodian Anchorage, and crypto exchange Coinbase.

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Author: AnTy

Andreessen Horowitz, A16z, Seeks $450 Million In Latest Crypto Funding: Report

Reports from the Financial Times confirmed that Andreessen Horowitz, the crypto-focused investment firm, is looking to raise additional funding of close to half a billion in this new round.

The news comes at a time when the world’s economies are languishing in the Coronavirus epidemic and signals that investors are still willing to test the waters in the crypto field.

According to two unnamed sources “familiar with the matter”, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is looking to raise an additional $450 million in a new funding round. The report estimates that the firm will receive the amount in about a week as investors flock towards the crypto industry.

The Silicon Valley-based firm aims to expand its crypto operations and expanding its markets with this latest funding. This comes only two years after the firm secured a $300 million funding round to specialize in crypto activities and blockchain-based projects.

A16z Highly Networked in the Crypto Space

Over the years, a16z has invested in some of the top projects in the blockchain space including Coinbase, Libra, Anchorage, and Polychain Capital.

The firm led a $30 million investment round on blockchain smartphone startup – Celo – back in April 2019.

Notwithstanding, a16z also invested in Ethereum-based decentralized finance solutions such as Maker (MKR), dYdX and Compound in the past few years.

As the crypto market awaits one of its most important events – Bitcoin’s halving – the doubling down on crypto by a16z sets a bullish mood in the crypto market.

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Author: Lujan Odera

New Crypto Start-Up School by Andreessen Horowitz to Boost Education and User Adoption

Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has recently announced at the TechCrunch Disrupt event that the venture capital company would start a new project. Andreessen Horowitz is set to launch its own crypto school for startups.

People can already apply to be a part of the initiative, which is aimed at the democratization of cryptos and to help startups to obtain better results.

According to Dixon, the company has been involved in the blockchain space for seven years now, so it is time to share some of this knowledge with young entrepreneurs who want to make a name for themselves.

This could not only boost the crypto economy but also create several new investment opportunities for the company and other investors. The company will obviously not invest in all the startups participating in the program, but the most promising ones will possibly be able to get the funds to take their ideas forward.

It was revealed that the program will last seven weeks and that it will be started on February 21st of next year. Everything will be free of charge, but only the most promising startups will receive the chance to participate if there are too many applicants. The program is looking for around 25 teams.

All lectures will take place in Silicon Valley, as expected, so you should be willing to spend a few weeks there if you want to participate. Fortunately, all lessons will be recorded and people will be able to freely watch them later.

The content of the course includes explanations on what are crypto networks, how the blockchain works, crypto-economics and applications, how to fundraise, governance, participation, and other relevant topics.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: Hank Klinger