Andreesen Horowitz buys 6% stake, offers biz support for MakerDAO
A stake that big comes with certain obligations.
a16z, Andreeson Horowitz's dedicated crypto investment fund, has bought up a 6% stake in the MakerDAO cryptocurrency project for US$15 million. Beyond the money itself, intended to help support MakerDAO through its next growth stage, MakerDAO will also be getting three years of support for the MakerDAO community and "full operational support" from the 80+ person a16z team.
The two top priorities, a16z says, are Dai stablecoin adoption and regulatory support.
An ongoing commitment
This is one of the more significant commitments to date from a16z, Andreeson Horowitz's "all weather" crypto investment fund, headed up by former federal prosecutor Katie Haun.
"As a first mover and innovator in stablecoins, MakerDAO represents a very compelling opportunity in the crypto space," Haun says, "MakerDAO's technology, ecosystem and talent have put theory into action to deliver a decentralised stablecoin that we believe will help drive the future of the crypto economy.
The Dai stablecoin was one of the earlier examples of a stablecoin that innovated beyond providers like Tether, which simply issue pegged coins based on money in the bank. Rather, MakerDAO helped pioneer the paired stablecoin system with the intention of creating a self-sustaining economy. The Dai coin is collateralised by the value of the MakerDAO MKR token held in automatically balancing smart contracts, which can trade it for Ether where needed.
The MKR token is still largely a governance token though, with holders taking on certain responsibilities in the community. And a sizable stake like 6% comes with fairly significant obligations. This isn't lost on a16z, which says it plans to be an active ecosystem participant, providing insights to and getting involved in conversations with other MKR holders.
Many of these discussions might be focused on MakerDAO's grander plans of being more than just a stablecoin, and instead helping to become part of a fairer new global economy.
"a16z crypto shares our vision for a world where the blockchain has levelled the economic playing field for everybody," said Rune Christensen, CEO and co-founder of MakerDAO. "With investment and operational support from a16z crypto, MakerDAO will be able to accelerate evolution, innovation and adoption of the Dai Credit System."
If MKR prices responded to the news, it was hard to distinguish against the backdrop of MKR fluctuating against falling Ether prices.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, ADA