The financial endowment fund of The University of Michigan is considering increasing its investment stake in the Andreessen Horowitz-managed crypto fund, commonly known as “a16z”. The venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley backs “bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology”.
The university, the state’s oldest, has already invested $3 million in the Andreessen Horowitz fund, and according to a publicly released item of information document, they are looking at further investment. The document states that under a 1994 Request for Action, the University may commit to follow-on investments in a new fund, sponsored by a previously approved partnership “provided the fund has the same investment strategy and core investment personnel as the prior fund”.
Andreessen Horowitz’s $300 million crypto fund has also attracted investment from Yale University. The fund was launched last year in order to focus on investing in cryptocurrency related technology companies.
At the initial launch, Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said that the fund “plans to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions. If there is another crypto winter, we’ll keep investing aggressively”.
Blockchain And Crypto Space Cannot Be Ignored
The endowment fund has decided to create a dedicated fund for crypto investments for a few primary reasons. With crypto becoming a more important area of innovation and entrepreneurship it cannot be ignored and should be closely watched. By creating a separate fund, they hope to gain an advantage by putting themselves in a favourable position within the crypto community. Continuing to invest in only general IT funds could be detrimental.
Other notable funds in which the university has invested are Zell Equity International Fund VI, Mosaic Ventures, TCV X, Carmel Partners Fund VII, Kuramo Africa Opportunity Fund Ill, and KHP.
There has been an increase in companies wanting to invest in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Recently, two pension plans in Fairfax County, The Fairfax County Police and Fairfax County Employee’s Pension, became the anchor investors in the new $40 million venture-capital fund, the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund.
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