A16z Forms Crypto Research and Coding Unit to Help Web 3 Startups

The new team is staffed with academics aiming to provide deeper insights for the firm’s portfolio companies.

AccessTimeIconApr 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:02 p.m. UTC
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Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has grown into one of the largest investors in crypto, raking in a then-record $2.2 billion for its third crypto fund last summer.

Now a16z is expanding its industry foothold with a new crypto research team.

“Today, we’re excited to announce the creation of a16z crypto research, a new kind of multidisciplinary lab that will work closely with our portfolio and others toward solving the important problems in the space and toward advancing the science and technology of the next generation of the internet,” a16z partners Ali Yahya and Chris Dixon wrote in an announcement blog post shared in advance with CoinDesk.

The a16z crypto research team will be led by Tim Roughgarden, who has spent 20 years as a researcher and computer science professor at Stanford University and Columbia University. Roughgarden specializes in algorithmic game theory and technical problems posed by Web 3. He joined the a16z crypto team last year as a research adviser.

“The combination of advantages that a16z offers – direct access to the most important technical problems currently faced by Web 3 founders, close collaboration with in-house engineering, regulatory and content teams, and the breadth and depth of Web 3 knowledge at the firm – would simply be impossible to replicate in an academic setting,” Roughgarden told CoinDesk in an email.

The rest of the founding a16z crypto research team is comprised of a group of multidisciplinary academics. Dan Boneh, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford specializing in cryptography and computer security, will be promoted to senior research analyst four years after he joined a16z.

With another massive crypto fund reportedly in the works, the research team will also add “production-grade code” to the mix, the blog post said. Development chops are something competitors Jump Crypto and Paradigm are well-versed in.

Last month, Jump Crypto – the Web 3 arm of Jump Trading Group – said developers accounted for 100 of its 140-person staff.

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Brandy Betz

Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.


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