Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has hired Katie Haun as its first female general investing partner to run the company’s newly formed $300 million cryptocurrency fund, according to an announcement published June 25.
Haun, who is also a director on the board of Coinbase, served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice for ten years, where she focused on digital assets and cryptocurrency startups. She reportedly led investigations into Mt. Gox and took down the corrupt agents on the Silk Road task force. Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, said:
“As I learned more about her career, I was even more impressed. She stood up to murderous motorcycle gangs and cartels, shut down organized crime, nailed RICO murderers, uncovered the largest money laundering and cybercrime rings, and stopped white collar crime and public corruption. Through it all, her prosecutorial record was whatever and 0. She never lost a case. Not once. Not ever.”
According to Bloomberg, Andreessen Horowitz has formed a new crypto fund, that will invest in a range of companies from blockchain projects to initial coin offerings (ICOs). All crypto deals by the firm will be reportedly conducted from this fund. The venture capital firm had already invested about $100 million in digital currency in its last fund. Chris Dixon, a general partner at the fund, said:
“We’re excited to have a fund focused on this, with the flexibility to let us make the investments we want to make. The inflow of entrepreneurs has dramatically increased over the past year.”
Haun does not have direct venture capital experience, as per news outlet Recode, though she has made some personal investments and teaches a cryptocurrency course at Stanford. The number of women involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain is far lower than that of men. Dixon pointed out that gender diversity is “definitely something that we need to improve on.”
Recently, there have been attempts to attract more women to the blockchain and digital currency fields. Initiatives like Mogul’s “Women in Crypto” events and organizations like the Women in Blockchain Foundation have been making an effort to get more women involved in the blockchain and crypto space.