Monday, July 22, 2019
University of Michigan To Invest In Andreessen Horowitz Crypto Fund

The University of Michigan has an endowment worth around $12 billion. The University is planning to invest in “crypto network technology fund” (CNK Fund I), which is managed by Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund, a16z. As per the board of regents meeting agenda held on Tuesday, earlier the university committed $3 million to Horowitz’s crypto fund in June 2018. However, the exact amount is still not disclosed. The agenda states:
that the fund — created by the Menlo Park, CA-headquartered Andreessen Horowitz — “invest[s] in crypto network technology companies across the spectrum of seed, venture, and growth stage opportunities.”

The agenda further added:
“as opportunities related to crypto networks transition from being undefined to becoming more visible and sharply defined, the need for a separate thematic fund may recede. In addition, the regulatory landscape for crypto-based investments is potentially more cumbersome than is the case with the sort of traditional IT investments that otherwise characterizes AH’s activities.”

Andreessen Horowitz launched a16z Crypto in the year 2018 aiming to invest in cryptocurrency-related technology companies at different stages. The fund attracted contribution from Yale University. Ivy League school Yale (second-largest endowment in the United States) became one of the investors that helped to raise $400 million for the crypto-focused fund created by veterans from stalwart crypto fund Pantera Capital as well as Coinbase, in October 2018. The general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, Chris Dixon said that it “plans to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions,” at the launch. He further added: “If there is another ‘crypto winter,’ we’ll keep investing aggressively.”

The endowment value of Michigan increased to $12 billion in October 2018. Erik Lundberg, chief investment officer said that his performance was “sufficient to sustain and grow the endowment in real terms, net of spending.” Pension funds along with endowment have started investing in crypto space as well as blockchain. Backed Morgan Creek Capital’s crypto-focused venture, Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System, and Employees’ Retirement System are the two public pension funds that raised $40 million in last week.

The partner at venture capital firm Blockchain Capital, Spencer Bogart stated that that the entry of major university endowments into the crypto space indicates the extended institutionalization of the asset class.

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