21.10.2020

Andreessen Horowitz Raises $515 Million for New Crypto Fund

Earlier reports suggested that Andreessen Horowitz, also called a16z, was hoping to accumulate $450 million in capital for the new vehicle, meaning that the firm has surpassed the initial goal by $65 million.

Top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is expanding its presence in the crypto sector. The United States-based company has raised $515 million for its second crypto-focused fund, according to an April 14 article on Fortune.

The new fund will focus on blockchain startups

Similarly to Andreessen Horowitz’s first crypto-oriented fund, which raised $300 million in 2018, the new endeavor will reportedly focus on blockchain projects, although the Fortune report does not mention startups working with digital assets.

Chris Dixon, general partner at the venture capital juggernaut, said of blockchain:

“It’s very rare that major, new computing paradigms come along, and we think this is on the scale of cloud and mobile for the Internet.”

Dixon added that he expects to see many new blockchains being launched in 2020. That includes Dfinity, a blockchain-based cloud computing project that a16z has already backed via its first crypto fund.

Andreessen Horowitz’s previous crypto investments and projects

Being one of the first venture capital firms to enter the space, Andreessen Horowitz has invested in a variety of crypto projects so far, including Libra, Maker DAO (MKR), and Coinbase, among others.

The company’s involvement with the crypto industry isn’t limited to investments. In December 2019, a16z announced a free, seven-week crypto startup school, scheduled to launch in February 2020, although there has been no update on that since.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Andreessen Horowitz for additional details, but has yet to hear back from the firm. This story will be updated should we receive a response.

Arab Bank Switzerland Leads Major Series A for Swiss Digital Assets Firm Taurus

Arab Bank Switzerland has closed a Series A financing round for Swiss digital asset infrastructure firm Taurus Group. While undisclosed, the amount is reported to be an “8-digit” figure in Swiss francs – implying a $10 million+ investment.

In September last year, Arab Bank Switzerland and Taurus had partnered to offer the bank’s clients Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) custody and brokerage services. Today, the bank has revealed it will add XRP to this service next month.

Investment will enable Taurus to expand to the wider European market

Arab Bank Switzerland is a Swiss institution that forms part of the Jordan-headquartered Arab Bank group. It was reportedly one of the first banks in Switzerland to offer digital assets services and has made known its conviction that the traditional and digital asset sectors are on track for ever-higher levels of convergence.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Rani Jabban, managing partner at Arab Bank Switzerland, said that the bank had been observing the digital asset market and blockchain sector since 2017. It took time to find a suitable infrastructure that would enable it to offer custody and trading services to its clients and finally sealed the partnership with Taurus in 2019.

Jabban said the bank believes that Taurus’ solutions will help the industry to realize the opportunities that are offered by tokenizing traditional assets, as well as digital assets themselves.

The bank more broadly believes that blockchain and smart contracts technologies will bring major efficiency gains for issuers, advisors, investors and institutions across the financial services industry.

Alongside Arab Bank Switzerland, a number of strategic investors as well as existing, private investors took part in the Series A for Taurus, though its co-founders remain the majority stakeholders in the firm.

The company plans to use the fresh investment to scale up its operations and expand its services to new financial centers in Europe, beginning with London, Paris and Frankfurt.

The Swiss banking and crypto space

As reported, crypto-specific banking institutions have already been established in Switzerland, including Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum, both of which have secured banking and securities dealer licenses from local regulators.

Among the country’s legacy financial institutions, Swiss private bank Maerki Baumann revealed last year that it had experienced a major influx of 400 new clients wanting to tap its planned blockchain offerings after it revealed its interest in the sector.

cointelegraph.com

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