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The financial endowment fund of the University of Michigan, one of the oldest and most established academic institutions in the U.S., is the latest institutional investor revealed to have entered the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Its endowment is backing a crypto venture capital fund managed by Andreessen Horowitz.
The University of Michigan’s financial endowment fund is a collection of thousands of individual endowments managed like a large mutual fund whose value reached $11.9 billion as of October 2018. Its proceeds pay for scholarships, professorships, and other university programs.
According to an item for information document from the Feb. 21 Board of Regents meeting, the university’s endowment is set to further increase its investment in a crypto venture fund. The university already committed $3 million to the crypto network fund in June 2018.
Andreessen Horowitz’s Cryptonetwork Fund
The crypto network fund, CNK Fund I, L.P., is managed by Andreessen Horowitz, the Menlo Park headquartered venture capital firm also known as a16z. According to the document, it was created to invest in crypto technology companies across the spectrum of seed, venture, and growth stage opportunities. Andreessen Horowitz decided to create a dedicated fund for crypto investments primarily because “crypto has become an important area of innovation and entrepreneurship that warrants focused attention.”
Additional reasons for raising the crypto-focused fund are that the regulatory landscape for crypto-based investments is also “potentially more cumbersome” than Andreessen Horowitz’s traditional technology investing, and that a separate fund for the crypto industry could also be better positioned within the distinct cryptocurrency community than a general information technology investment fund.
In a similar recent development, last week it was reported that two American public sector pension funds have backed a crypto industry venture capital fund with a large tranche of a combined $40 million investment. The Fairfax County Police and the Fairfax County Employees’ pension plans provided the main backing for the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund.
What do you think about the University of Michigan Endowment backing this crypto venture capital fund? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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