Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has raised $515 million for its second fund dedicated to cryptocurrency projects and blockchain technologies topping the $450m target Andreessen Horowitz set for it.
Andreessen Horowitz’s fund also called ‘a16z crypto’, will specialise in crypto-assets and projects that build on blockchains.
This project comes two years after the firm raised $300m for its first investment fund devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency projects.
In its second attempt, the money will be used to invest in firms focusing on as “next generation payments” and later-stage networks like bitcoin and decentralized finance (DeFi) according to a statement, which added that blockchain will become the way to open up financial services to the world’s unbanked two billion-plus.
“Payment blockchains are picking up where bitcoin left off, solving for currency volatility and settlement transaction times,” the statement added. “Unlike existing systems where the sender and receiver must have fee-extracting bank infrastructure in place, payment blockchains require no bank account, thereby opening up financial services to the two billion-plus unbanked worldwide.”
The VC firm expects crypto-based applications, including the Web 3, could disrupt banking as we know it.
“We are still early in this Web 3 build-out,” the statement said. “High-performance programmable blockchains will make decentralized network development much more accessible. After years of R&D, we are excited that a number of next-gen programmable blockchains will begin rolling out in the near future.”
“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,” Chris Dixon, coleader of the fund told Fortune. He believes the future will witness an escalated amount of many new blockchain firms including those from the previous funds’ backed startups, such as the world computer, Dfinity.
The new fund is indeed proof that investors are still inclined to back blockchain projects despite the uncertainty and economic slump sparked by the ongoing global pandemic that is COVID-19 which is proving to be a blessing for the blockchain sector.
In fact, in the last 24 hours the entire market capitalization of cryptocurrencies “jumped $35.3 billion,” according to data reported by CNBC. Bitcoin, which fell below $4,000 last month, rose to $9,388.30 earlier today.
“These are a few areas where people are already building, but it only scratches the surface of the yet-to-be-imagined applications that entrepreneurs will dream up. In the same way that it wasn’t obvious in 2007 how applications on top of mobile phones would change so many aspects of the ways in which we move, consume, travel, communicate, and even date, it’s hard to imagine what the very best apps and use cases will be for blockchain-based computing platforms,” the statement added.
Andreessen Horowitz has been one of the VCs to believe that Bitcoin and blockchain technology will revolutionise the fintech world. In January 2014, its cofounder, Marc Andreessen, who now sits on Facebook’s board, commended digital money’s virtues in a piece for the New York Times.
Consequently, the firm has invested in several cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether alongside blockchain projects like blockchain-based social payment app Celo, Compound and crypto asset custodian Anchorage in the past and with this new fund it aims to make stronger networks in the industry.
Clearly, Andreessen Horowitz will only have more success stories coming in the future.