Crypto investor Katie Haun raises $1.5 billion for Haun Ventures

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Crypto investor Katie Haun has raised $1.5 billion for her new fund after leaving Andreessen Horowitz, and shattered a number of data within the course of.

Haun Ventures’ kickoff marks the biggest debut enterprise fund ever raised by a solo feminine founding companion, in accordance with Pitchbook. Former funding banker Mary Meeker held the prior report with a $1.3 billion fund after spinning out from Kleiner Perkins.

“It feels, truthfully, like plenty of strain. However I feel that motivates everybody on the workforce,” Haun informed CNBC in her first broadcast interview since leaving Andreessen Horowitz. “Web3 is the brand new period of the web, and it deserves a brand new period of traders.”

The time period Web3, or Internet 3.0, loosely refers to basic computing purposes constructed on the blockchain — the identical expertise underlying bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies. Examples embrace NFTs, that are traceable possession certificates hooked up to digital recordsdata equivalent to artwork items or movies, and decentralized finance purposes, during which self-executing “good” contracts can be utilized to exchange middlemen like attorneys and bankers in sure kinds of transactions. However total, the area continues to be in a really early and experimental part.

Katie Haun, Andreessen Horowitz Normal Companion

Supply: CNBC

Haun’s fund might be divvied up into two segments: $500 million for early-stage corporations and protocols, and $1 billion for “acceleration,” or later-stage tasks.

Haun, a former federal prosecutor, turned Andreessen’s first feminine basic companion in 2018 the place she co-led its a number of cryptocurrency funds alongside Chris Dixon. Andreessen Horowitz might be a restricted companion in Haun’s latest fund, whereas Marc Andreessen, the agency’s founder, and Dixon all personally contributed to her new endeavor.

Her exit caught many in Silicon Valley off guard. Whereas it was a “dream job,” Haun stated the departure was about taking extra of a threat, and “stepping out of her consolation zone.”

“Clearly there is a relationship there, and there are friendships there. We nonetheless intend to collaborate intently with Andreessen Horowitz,” she stated. “One of many distinctive issues about our fund dimension makes it in order that we do not have to guide each deal, we are able to play effectively with plenty of different crypto traders — founders do not need a single investor on their cap desk, even within the early rounds.”

Haun Ventures’ nine-person workforce contains Chris Lehane, a former Airbnb govt and Clinton administration official, Tomicah Tillemann, a former staffer for President Joe Biden, and Rachael Horwitz, who led communications groups at Twitter, Google, Fb and Coinbase. A number of workers left Andreessen Horowitz with Haun for the brand new fund. She stated the smaller workforce permits the agency to be extra “nimble,” and act as “enterprise contributors” along with enterprise capitalists.

“Gone are the times the place founders simply need capital,” she stated. “One of many issues that Haun Ventures will do for our founders is basically actively contribute to the tasks during which we make investments.”

The launch comes throughout a bear marketplace for bitcoin. The world’s largest cryptocurrency is down roughly 40% from its peak in November, with smaller cryptocurrencies like ether seeing deeper losses. Haun, who has invested via previous downturns or “crypto winters”, stated there’s nonetheless loads of developer exercise and upside.

“Once I suppose again to deploying the primary two crypto funds, that was throughout a interval of immense volatility — it was undoubtedly a crypto winter with costs down 70% and tasks had been nonetheless born that in that cycle,” she stated, highlighting Solana and NFT change OpenSea. “One of many issues I’ve realized as an investor with a long run view of the area, is that nice merchandise are going to be constructed and nice protocols are going to be constructed, it doesn’t matter what the costs are.”

Crypto change Coinbase, which Haun is on the board of, has seen roughly 58% from drop its excessive final 12 months. Nonetheless, Haun stated non-public start-up valuations aren’t being affected, but.

“There is a little bit of a lag. We’re nonetheless seeing very excessive valuations in crypto tasks. Final time this occurred, with macro market corrections, it took some time for that to translate over into crypto. I feel the identical might be true right here,” she stated.

Whereas cryptocurrencies could also be struggling to regain momentum, {dollars} flowing into non-public corporations is at all-time highs. Blockchain start-ups brought in a record $25 billion in enterprise capital {dollars} final 12 months, in accordance with current knowledge from CB Insights. That determine is up eightfold from a 12 months earlier.

That flood of enterprise {dollars} has sparked some controversy on Twitter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey ⁠— two of the world’s best-known tech billionaires ⁠— have been amongst these questioning “Web3.” Dorsey argues VCs and their restricted companions are those who will in the end find yourself proudly owning Web3 and it “won’t ever escape their incentives,” he tweeted, calling it a “centralized entity with a special label.”

“I have a look at it as Web3 lastly getting a number of the critics it deserves within the area,” Haun stated. “If I may have the selection between Jack Dorsey providing some critiques versus a number of the myths that we have heard perpetrated for therefore lengthy within the area, I would definitely select the previous. So I feel that debate is wholesome.”

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