Showing posts with label Venture capital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Venture capital. Show all posts

Saturday, June 11, 2022

11: VC, Russia

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Kathryn Haun: Maverick VC

Exclusive: Why star VC Katie Haun departed Andreessen Horowitz with an audacious plan to build a $1 billion crypto investing juggernaut The a16z vet made her name with big bets on Coinbase and OpenSea. Her new venture is on track to be the biggest Web3 fund raised by a solo female VC. .

Katie Haun Seeks $900M for Crypto Funds After A16z Departure: Report Haun is aiming for $300 million for an early investment fund targeting crypto startups and $600 million for a fund focused on larger companies and digital tokens.

Crypto’s Top V.C. Is Playing the Long Game Katie Haun, a co-chair of Andreessen Horowitz’s new $2.2 billion crypto fund, is betting that the blockchain will be as big as the internet. ....... A top crypto cop turned venture capitalist is now one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley, with more than $2 billion at her fingertips. ....... Katie Haun, who created the first federal cryptocurrency task force as a prosecutor in the Justice Department, will co-chair a $2.2 billion crypto fund Andreessen Horowitz announced this week. She is a general partner at the venture capital fund and an independent director at the crypto exchange Coinbase. Chris Dixon, also a general partner at Andreessen, will be the fund’s other co-chair. ........ A Chinese regulatory crackdown on Bitcoin is battering prices and raising questions about the value and future regulatory landscape of crypto. .............. Xi Jinping and China have made no secret of the fact that they consider crypto and blockchain a top-five national priority for China in the next decade. They’ve publicly stated this, and they are developing their own version of cryptocurrency, a digital renminbi. We know that they plan to export this, to tie trade to it, to incentivize people around the world, not just in China, to use it. ............

the tremendous staying power of a decentralized, open system like Bitcoin.

......... There’s this myth that crypto founders want the Wild West. They’re really kind of desperate for regulators to say what the rules are. It takes so much time, money and resources — specialty resources — to figure out how to navigate the morass of agencies ranging from the C.F.T.C. to Treasury, let alone the regulators in 50 different states. .......... I’m full-time in the industry with experts all around, and I can’t keep up with the pace of this technology that’s changing so fast. ............ anyone today with an internet connection and a VPN can pretty easily go access products and services that are offered in other countries. It’s incredibly hard, if not almost impossible, for the U.S. to police what’s happening overseas on offshore platforms......... Criminals are early adopters and in some ways they make great beta testers for new technology. They’re always looking for a way around the system. Frankly, law enforcement officials actually really like when payment is made in Bitcoin as opposed to fiat. I think it’s funny because as a former prosecutor, I take this for granted. There’s a real false sense of security where wires are used or traditional financial services are used. People think, “Oh, we know everything about that. So we’ll just go subpoena. The bank will give us these records and we’ll just go get the money.” That is just so far from the reality of the situation. .......... I prosecuted many of the Justice Department’s largest online money laundering schemes. In fiat systems, 99.9 percent of money laundering claims succeed. Actually, the thing that really stands out about the ransomware attacks — the Colonial Pipeline is a great example of this. It is unprecedented that the Justice Department would be able to recover the proceeds from international criminal activity so quickly. ........

One of the only things that unites Congress lately is China

, and I think U.S. policymakers and lawmakers are starting to realize that China and other countries are moving forward, recognizing that crypto and blockchain is a real priority, and that we are behind, unlike in the internet, where DARPA and the U.S. government had a hand in helping create it. ............. There’s something fundamental going on right now with the internet and culture, and I think crypto is at the epicenter. .......... A lot of people that I talk to about NFTs think, “oh, yeah, digital art.” I think it’s so much more than just about art. It’s about much more than gaming, it’s about much more than goods. It’s about this new business model for creators and bringing entirely new audiences to crypto, entirely new types like creators, sports fans and media types......... Then the third category is DeFi or decentralized finance. ......... With crypto, we think that its potential for growth is as big as the potential for the internet.

Katie Haun on the Dark Web, Gangs, Investigating Bitcoin, and the New Magic of “Nifties” (NFTs) (#499) . Previously, she spent a decade as a federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice, where she focused on fraud, cybercrime, and corporate crime, alongside agencies including the SEC, FBI, and Treasury. She created the government’s first cryptocurrency task force and led investigations into the Mt. Gox hack and the corrupt agents on the Silk Road task force. ....... While serving as a federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice, she also prosecuted RICO murders, organized crime, public corruption, gangs, and money laundering. She held senior positions at Justice Department headquarters in both the National Security Division and attorney general’s office, where her portfolio included antitrust, tax, and national security. Katie has testified before both houses of Congress on the intersection of technology and regulation. .......... She teaches a class on cryptocurrencies at Stanford Business School and previously taught cybercrime at Stanford Law School. ....... Katie clerked for US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and is an honors graduate of Stanford Law School. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. ....... Katie gives us a rundown of how blockchain technology both powered the Silk Road darknet market and dropped the breadcrumbs that led to its downfall — as well as the arrest of the corrupt agents who were exploiting the investigation for their personal enrichment. .......... As a federal prosecutor, Katie never lost a case. ...... While working to put violent criminals behind bars, what was the self-talk that kept Katie level-headed when risks to personal safety were of valid concern? How large are these criminal organizations, and how much reach do they have in the outside world? ........ What developments does Katie expect to see in crypto or blockchain over the next three to five years? .

From Crimefighter to ‘Crypto’: Meet the Woman in Charge of Venture Capital’s Biggest Gamble Kathryn Haun was the Justice Department's go-to prosecutor for Bitcoin-related felonies. Now she's one of cryptocurrency's most important investors. Here's why her career change is a watershed moment...... In one corner is Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate in economics. In the other is Kathryn Haun, an accomplished federal prosecutor recently turned venture capitalist. .

Federal Prosecutor Kathryn Haun On How Criminals Use Bitcoin -- And How She Catches Them . The first time federal prosecutor Kathryn Haun heard about Bitcoin was when someone asked her if she’d like to prosecute it. ....... The assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco, who had previously focused on organized crime, prison gangs and murders, very quickly realized that wouldn’t be possible — that it would be like “trying to prosecute cash,” but it set her off on a path of discovery. She is now also DOJ’s digital currency coordinator, teaches Stanford Law School’s first class on digital currency and cybercrime, and, last year, put away two federal agents who tried to steal more than $800,000 in bitcoin. ......... begins with her being tipped off by an investigative journalist about one of those agents ....... when I started looking into this matter, I was doing it from the perspective of, I want to clear this person’s name, but I quickly learned that wasn’t going to be the result.” ........ She describes how she uncovered what were actually “the perfect criminals” — being federal agents, “they knew how to cover their tracks,” she says. ......... she was able to follow the bitcoins, how tracking those patterns revealed to her that there were two dirty federal agents, not one, and what telling detail led her to suspect the second must also be a federal agent. ........ she thinks it would be particularly revolutionary in the area of public records. “Of all the kinds of cases that I’ve ever done, whether you’re talking about the Hell’s Angels, marriage fraud, the bank officer I prosecuted for impersonating dead people or the criminals I’ve prosecuted using cryptocurrency, they all have one thing in common: there’s always been, somewhere along the way, a forged, counterfeit or stolen public document — even a murder case I tried,” she says. ........ in the United States, more than 6,500 entities can issue birth certificates on 14,000 different types of forms, making it easy to counterfeit a birth certificate. “We call these ‘breeder documents’ — because they quite literally breed new identities,” she says. “You get a forged, fake or stolen birth certificate and a name, and you take that down to the DMV and you get your photo taken with that, and now you all of a sudden also have a driver’s license. You take the driver’s license and birth certificate to the passport office and now you’ve gotten yourself a passport. And all of a sudden, with these three kind of identity documents, the sky’s the limit on what kind of criminal activity you could do — you could file for fraudulent benefits from the government, you could commit some kind a terrorist offense, you could purchase weapons, you could traffic in people, you could obviously commit drug smuggling.” ............. Another problem she sees in public records is that they are kept in centralized databases, which are subject to tampering. For instance, in 2008, the city of San Francisco’s network administrator became disgruntled and changed all the admin passwords and held all the records hostage. .


Biden Takes Step Toward Regulating Cryptocurrencies The president signed an executive order that will coordinate efforts among financial regulators to better understand the risks and opportunities presented by digital assets...... President Biden signed an executive order on cryptocurrencies Wednesday, in the face of “explosive growth” in digital assets.Credit... ......... President Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that will direct the federal government to come up with a plan to regulate cryptocurrencies, recognizing their popularity and potential to destabilize traditional money and markets. ......... The order, under development for months, will coordinate efforts among financial regulators to better understand the risks and opportunities presented by digital assets, particularly in the areas of consumer protection, national security and illicit finance. ....... The order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six areas: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation........ “We’re operating in a gray zone and in a sandbox. And time and again, someone comes into the sandbox and arrests somebody, and that’s not the best way to grow an important part of the economy.” ........ “We’ve seen a complete lack of any strategic direction or thought from the federal government for years. The industry still doesn’t know what’s a security, for example, and what’s a utility token that is exempt from regulation. Those are things that would help us.” .

Crypto-related companies and funds jump after Biden signs executive order on cryptocurrencies

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

AVC 3.0 (Newsworthy)

AVC 3.0

Netizen Has Arrived: A Link From AVC

Thursday, January 02, 2020

The VC Blind Spot

VCs are leaving a lot of money on the table by only investing in people who look like them — mostly white men. Morgan Stanley estimates that VCs could be missing out on as much as $4 trillion in value by not investing in more diverse founders.

Friday, February 08, 2019

New York City Beats San Francisco

This is remarkable.

Many of us have been connecting the dots for years. But this has come sooner than I expected.

The center of gravity for tech innovation shifted from Silicon Valley to the city of San Francisco a while ago. Silicon Valley feels rural. That is where the old companies are. Old like Google and Apple. And most engineers who work for those companies live in San Francisco, because, well, it is the city life they crave. But if it is about city life, San Francisco has nothing on New York City. Shanghai beats NYC on infrastructure, but NYC is not its infrastructure, it is its collection of people. There NYC beats Shanghai.

Already NYC was a strong number two. Then, in terms of VC money, NYC became neck and neck last year. And Amazon voted with its feet. Google has been expanding in the city for a long time.

Years ago Dennis Crowley of FourSquare made news by not moving to San Francisco. His startup did open up an office there, but he stayed put. I was unsurprised. At the time FourSquare was the NYC tech startup with the most buzz.

The next phase in innovation is about reimagining entire industries. I said so in my last article posted on LinkedIn. And NYC is a good place to be for that. It is home to numerous industries.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chris Dixon @cdixon

Thursday, February 11, 2016

FlipKart: Owned 80% By Investors

I learned today that FlipKart is owned 80% by investors. That is a sad state of affairs. Investors should have the discipline to not own 35-40% of a tech startup, otherwise you are killing the hen that lays the golden egg. It is racism to think Indian tech startup founders can get by with little ownership because, well, they are Indian and they are in India.

I wish FlipKart all the best, but I can't see how a tech startup that is so weak at its foundation can be a trailblazer. It has been set to fall, if not now then later. The ownership structure is bull.

Rahul Yadav is another story that caught my attention months ago. The Indian media made it look like the guy sent out one wrong, arrogant email and that is why. That is missing the point. He had all the inklings of a tech startup founder. But the ownership structure there also was all messed up. And I gather has bombed since. The hen got killed.

The Real Rahul Yadav Story
Rahul Yadav Has A Bright Future

I hope there will be a second coming of Rahul Yadav just like there was a second coming of Steve Jobs.

If FlipKart is owned 80% by investors, I am not sure it is the Indian Alibaba.

Saudi Arabia: SuperPower?

A tech startup founder is not a CEO. A tech startup founder has to be in a commanding position. Because you have to make drastic moves as you grow. And you need power to be able to make those moves. And the power comes from equity ownership. I don't know what the FlipKart investors are thinking.

A company owned 80% by investors, when it goes for its next round of funding, the investors will make the call. The founder CEO will not be at the negotiating table. That should never happen. An irrelevant founder CEO is not a founder CEO but an employee.

Tech Startup Equity Distribution
Zuck, Free Basics, India
Zuck, Free Basics, India (2)
Dorsey Ouster Was DNA Damage At Twitter

There is venture capital. And then there is vulture capital.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Middle Age

English: Steve Jobs shows off the white iPhone...
English: Steve Jobs shows off the white iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference Español: Presentación del iPhone 4 por Steve Jobs en la Worldwide Developers Conference del año 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why middle-aged entrepreneurs will be critical to the next trillion-dollar business
Steve Jobs was 52 when he announced the iPhone. That was in 2007. Years later, the Apple cofounder introduced the MacBook Air, App Store, and iPad. Tim Cook, who was 51 when he took over from Jobs, is building on his legacy. They both shattered a myth that the young rule the technology industry. ........ Research on successful technology firms by a team I led at Duke and Harvard in 2008 looked only at companies that had made it out of the garage and were generating at least $1 million in revenue. The research revealed that the average and median age of their founders was 39. Twice as many were older than 50 as were younger than 25. And twice as many were older than 60 as were younger than 20. In a follow-up project, we studied the backgrounds of 549 successful entrepreneurs in 12 high-growth industries. The average and median age of male founders in this group was 40, and a significant proportion were older than 50. ...... in every year from 1996 to 2013, Americans in the 55-to-64 age group started new businesses at a higher rate than those in their twenties and thirties. And the trend is building. Those ages 55 to 64 started 14 percent of all new businesses in 1996 but nearly 24 percent of them in 2013. ...... What makes entrepreneurs successful, as my team’s research revealed, is work and industry experience and management ability. These come with age. ..... The inexperience — and immaturity — of youth is one reason venture capitalists’ track record is so poor. In 2012, the Kauffman Foundation analyzed 20 years of investment data from nearly 100 venture funds. It found that the vast majority of them produced lower returns than did the public markets. ........ The experiment by Thiel to pay college students to drop out did not result in any world-changing startups. Most Thiel fellows joined other companies or went back to school. The Thiel Foundation quietly redesigned its program, which now provides an alternative education to children. Perhaps the realization set in that the innovation advantage isn’t provided by youth, but by knowledge, maturity, experience, and connections......... the average age at which Nobel laureates performed their prizewinning work and the average age at which inventors had their great achievement was 39. He also found that twice as many — 14 percent — were older than 50 as were younger than 26. Jones found that the average age of innovators is steadily rising, with the average age of greatest achievement for Nobel Prize winners and great tech inventors having increased six years, to 45, in the 20th century. ......... It also is easier to write code for a cellphone than to learn how to motivate and inspire employees, manage finances, and market products. But building a business requires all of those skills. That is why older entrepreneurs have more success. ...... A technology shift is happening that will dramatically alter the entrepreneurial landscape in the next few years. Several technologies — involving medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, 3D printing, and nanomaterials — are advancing at exponential rates and are converging. This is the same type of advance that is occurring with computers — with processing power doubling every 18 months, prices falling, and devices becoming smaller. A $500 laptop today has more computing power than did a Cray 2 supercomputer that cost $17.5 million in 1985 and had to be housed in a large building. ........ These advances are making it possible to solve the global problems of health, energy, education, and hunger. Inexpensive sensor-based devices, for example, allow the continual measurement of heart rate, temperature, movement, pressure and light. They can be used to build devices that keep track of blood pressure, glucose and blood oxygen levels, respiration and even sleeping habits. They also can be used to improve agriculture, monitor the environment and reduce food spoilage. Systems based on artificial intelligence can be used to make medical diagnoses, to drive autonomous cars, and to predict traffic patterns, crime and trends. Robotic devices will allow us to care for the elderly and automate routine processes. Digital tutors will be able to transform education. .......... These technologies will make it possible to create the next trillion-dollar industries and to better our lives. But they require knowledge of fields such as medicine, biotechnology, engineering, and nanotechnology. They require experience, an understanding of the problems people face, and cross-disciplinary skills. All of these come with age and experience, which middle-aged entrepreneurs have in abundance. That is why we need to get beyond the stereotypes and realize that

older entrepreneurs are going to better the world


Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Bizarre Blog Post By Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz does not have a hometown advantage with me. But once in a while I will drop by his blog to see what he has been up to recently, like I just did. And I think I just read the most bizarre blog post ever at his blog. What has venture capitalism come to?

There was a phase in my childhood when I used to fantasize about having curly hair. I thought it was just so cool. One of my post Spring Break jokes at college was to rib my white friends, "You getting there! You getting there!" It took me the longest time to see any kind of racial connotation between chicken and watermelons and the black identity. I still don't see the connection. I just so happen to be a huge fan of watermelons. If you grew up in the south of Nepal like I did where summers are hot enough for a siesta culture, you would also take watermelons at face value. They are a treat. They are better than any summer drink I ever had. Talking of siestas, Brad Feld has a most delightful blog post on that.

For the first time I am thinking those who think the VC firm A16Z has raised too much money might be right. They are now investing in bizarre territory. And here's some historical context.

The watermelon is no mango, the king of all fruits, but it sits right up there in the royal court. That has always been my opinion, and I am not changing it. Anything wrong you hear about watermelons has been planted in your brain by the fast buck fast food industry.

Also, how about this for a contemporary context? And to think, I have put out as many blog posts about The Tramp, as I have about Hillary!