Andreessen Horowitz — a Silicon Valley company specializing in investing mostly in technology and financial services startups, having raised $1.7 billion across seven funds — told Forbes that it is registering their all 150 employees as financial advisors, which renounces the company’s status as a venture capital firm entirely.
The restructuring will purportedly enable Andreessen Horowitz to take riskier bets on certain business areas, including digital currencies. “If the firm wants to put $1 billion into cryptocurrency or tokens, or buy unlimited shares in public companies or from other investors, it can. And in doing so, the thinking goes, it’ll again make other firms feel like they have one hand tied behind their back,” it further explains.
This spring, Andreessen Horowitz reportedly gave up its venture capital exemptions and registered as a financial advisor. The move required a ban on its investors speaking plainly about their portfolios or funds performance in public, among other things like auditing each employee.
At the same time, the company’s partners can now openly share deals in cases like a blockchain startup for home buying wherein a real estate expert tag-teams a deal with a cryptocurrency expert.
Last September, Andreessen Horowitz invested $15 million in blockchain startup MakerDAO (MKR). Andreessen Horowitz via its investment fund a16z acquired 6 percent of the total MKR token supply. The purchase was set to allow a16z to manage MKR and the Dai Credit System as it reportedly becomes “the first” decentralized autonomous stablecoin organization.
In June of last year, Andreessen Horowitz hired Katie Haun as its first female general investing partner to run the company’s newly formed $300 million cryptocurrency fund. The firm’s crypto fund is designed to invest in a range of companies from blockchain projects to initial coin offerings.