Andreessen Horowitz is aiming to start a new cryptocurrency investment fund and to get $450 million for that endeavor, even as the global pandemic spooks most investors into conservative standpoints for now.
Horowitz, which has been a supporter of Facebook’s divisive Libra currency since its inception, is one of the first firms with a large fund dedicated to cryptocurrencies. Horowitz boasted a $350 million haul raised in 2018 to go toward startups.
The company could finance this new venture in around a week, though it has not set a limit on its size yet, sources said. The firm did not comment on that.
In 2018, venture capital investment in blockchain was at a high point, with almost $4.3 billion in investments — but that number fell in 2019 and, with the global pandemic, has not been profitable as of late. Andreessen Horowitz, seeking new funding less than two years after its first venture, is going faster than others would, looking to capitalize on a particularly energized stretch of investing lately.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations is expecting a spike in scams and fraud cases trying to capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic in relation to cryptocurrency, it said this week.
The FBI said people of all ages are potential victims for scammers and fraudsters, who are now using cryptocurrency channels as a replacement for the traditional money scams of old.
That could include blackmail schemes in which scammers say they’ll infect friends and family members if a certain payment is not made. It could mean “work from home” scams where scammers ask victims to accept donations to their accounts, which could be money stolen from others, considered “mule” activity beyond legal areas.
Some scams may promise treatments or cures for the virus, which are fraudulent because no known cure exists yet. And others are “investment” scams, where “too good to be true” initial coin offering pitches are made that end up with the victim losing out in the long run.