Founders love winning over strong financial investments — especially when they come from some of the biggest names in the business.
Case-in-point: Multicoin Capital, an Austin cryptofund that invests in Bitcoin and other coin offerings, on Friday announced it expects to close its inaugural fund by the end of the second quarter this year with $250 million invested.
Their fund also has noteworthy investors. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz; David Sacks, co-founder of Craft Ventures and former CEO of Yammer and Zenefits (also PayPal’s first COO); and Bill Lee, a Silicon Valley angel investor. Others include Andreessen Horowitz General Partners Chris Dixon, Austin-based investor and mark vc co-founder Adam Zeplain, Air Paul of Blocktower and Elad Gil of Colo Genomics.
In a blog post, Sacks said it takes the skills of a venture capitalist and a hedge fund manager to deal with the unique aspects and rapid fluctuations of cryptocurrencies. And he praised Multicoin Capital Co-Founders Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain for understanding the market.
“They are not just traders but technologists who know how to evaluate emerging technology in an extremely fluid and rapidly evolving space,” Sacks wrote.
Samani and Jain both attended New York University in 2008-2012, both moving to Austin after graduation. Samani launched a Google Glass app company called Pristine. Jain, meanwhile, launched ePatientFinder, a platform to connect patients with medical trials.
They both got into crypto in 2013 and started getting serious about it in 2016, putting them on course to launch Multicoin Capital. The company’s fund launched last year with $10 million in commitments for token investments, including contributions from David Johnston, co-founder of Austin-based Factom.
The startup monitors and analyzes a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Their research on the tokens quickly drew interest from other relatively early crypto investors. Their security using air gapped computers to store private keys gives their customers some peace of mind. And the team keeps a close eye on its crypto investments, making adjustments every month.
“Since launch, there’s been a torrent of interest in Multicoin Capital, validating the overwhelming need for professional fund managers that understand the market intimately,” Samani said in a news release. “Today there are more than 200 crypto hedge funds in the mix. We stand out by simply doing what other investors like Buffet and Graham did in the stock market. We seek to build a brand and a reputation that accurately mirrors the intellectual rigor we put into each and every position we take.”