University of Michigan Considers Further Investment in A16z’s Crypto Fund

Yogita Khatri
Feb 22, 2019 at 07:15 UTC
Updated Feb 23, 2019 at 09:47 UTC
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The University of Michigan, which has an endowment valued at about $12 billion, is considering further investing in Andreessen Horowitz’s cryptocurrency fund.

According to a board of regents meeting agenda published on Tuesday, the university previously committed $3 million to Horowitz’s $300 million “a16z Crypto” fund in June 2018 and is now looking at follow-up investments. However, it did not disclose an exact amount.

The meeting agenda further added that “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.”

Andreessen Horowitz launched a16z Crypto last year to focus on investing in cryptocurrency-related technology companies at different stages. The fund also reportedly attracted participation from Yale University.

Chris Dixon, Andreessen Horowitz’s general partner, said at the time of the launch that it “plans to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions,” adding: “If there is another ‘crypto winter,’ we’ll keep investing aggressively.”

Michigan’s endowment value climbed to about $12 billion last October. Its chief investment officer Erik Lundberg said at the time that the performance was “sufficient to sustain and grow the endowment in real terms, net of spending.”

Endowment and pension funds are increasingly starting to invest in the blockchain and crypto space. Just last week, two public pension funds – Fairfax County, Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System, and Employees’ Retirement System – backed Morgan Creek Capital’s crypto-focused venture fund that raised $40 million.

Morgan Creek’s new fund also includes investments from a university endowment, a hospital system, an insurance company, and a private foundation, CoinDesk learned at the time.

Last week, Cambridge Associates, a pensions and endowments consultant, reportedly said that it’s time for institutional investors to consider getting into cryptocurrencies.

Michigan stadium image via Shutterstock