The main catalyst for the fund according to Chris Dixon was that "Funds are not allowed to have more than 20 percent of their assets in what are known as liquid securities, such as cryptocurrency, noting that Andreessen’s existing fund had “basically run up close” to that figure. Katie Haun, a former federal prosecutor is joining the firm to help run it.
Andreessen confirmed its effort on Monday, describing a $300 million fund that would invest in startups, digital currencies and crypto-related projects known as initial coin offerings. All future crypto deals by the firm will come from this fund, which closed on Friday. Dixon acknowledged in an interview that the fund was a bit of a reputational and financial risk for the firm, which started in 2009. But the venture capital firm has been one of the leading investors in blockchain, the core technology in cryptocurrency, beginning several years before it became trendy in Silicon Valley. “I would argue that going heavy into crypto was already kind of risky. I think it’s working out well,” said Dixon. “This is not a marketing thing to have a separate fund here. There are genuinely reasons to have it.”