a16z-backed projects sold tokens and NFTs to the public contrary to claims by Chris Dixon, a general partner at the venture capital firm.
During a recent appearance on the New York Times podcast Hard Fork, Dixon defended his firm’s investment thesis and the projects they support.
“No company we’re involved with — nor would we allow them to do this — sells tokens to the public,” he said.
However, a review of a16z’s investments reveals that this claim does not hold up to scrutiny.
a16z-Backed Projects Sold Crypto Tokens
Several companies and projects backed by a16z have sold crypto tokens or digital assets to the public.
One such company is DFINITY, the company behind internet computer tokens (ICP).
The project distributed tokens to individuals who made “donations” to the DFINITY foundation, contradicting Dixon’s assertion that a16z-backed companies do not sell tokens to the public.
Fei, an algorithmic stablecoin protocol, is another a16z investment that challenges Dixon’s claim.
Fei sold both the FEI token and the TRIBE governance in its Genesis Event.
Subsequently, a court settlement found this to be a sale of unregistered securities, further undermining Dixon’s statement.
Sky Mavis, the developer behind the popular game Axie Infinity, is yet another a16z-backed project that sold tokens to the public.
The AXS token was made available for purchase on Binance Launchpad, directly contradicting Dixon’s claim.
a16z-Backed Firms Offered NFTs
It is worth noting that several companies in which a16z has invested have publicly sold NFTs.
Notable examples include VeeFriends, a platform used by entrepreneur Gary Vee to sell his NFTs, and PROOF, the company behind the PROOF Collective, which auctioned NFTs to the public.
Yuga Labs, the firm behind Bored Apes, has also engaged in the public sale of NFTs.
Founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, a16z is a private venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California.
The firm has been an early and influential player in the crypto space, backing a wide array of projects and companies that seek to leverage blockchain technology.
One of their earliest and most notable investments was in Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, which they funded in 2013.
Understanding the unique nature and potential of blockchain technology, a16z launched dedicated crypto funds.
The first such fund was announced in 2018, with a substantial commitment of $300 million, followed by subsequent funds, attracting even larger investments.
a16z’s crypto investments have been diverse, covering various segments of the blockchain ecosystem.
These investments include infrastructure projects like Ethereum, financial services platforms, NFT marketplaces, and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
In October last year, a16z led a $3.6 million funding round for Freatic, a decentralized information exchange protocol.
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