Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has gone large on a blockchain based project that hopes to become the next internet. Project Dfinity Stiftung is a startup, set to launch its Beta version in 2019.
Betting Big on Blockchain
According to a report on Bloomberg, the VC firm and hedge fund Polychain Capital have together pumped in $61 million into the project that intends to establish a Decentralized Cloud Computing platform. This represents the biggest bet yet that Andreessen Horowitz is placing on a blockchain project (they did not disclose the exact amount involved) since the inception of their 2-month-old crypto fund.
About 30 percent of the cash will support development while the balance remaining amount will become seed capital to support developers and the project teams focusing on the creating the protocol’s application. Dfinity President and main scientist Dominic Williams stated:
“Though the DFINITY Foundation is well capitalized, our focus with this financing was to bring in key partners who can provide real strategic value and help distinguish us from the noise in the market.”
Dfinity Undeterred Despite no ICO
Regulatory issues prevented the Dfinity project from conducting an Initial Coin Offering, instead choosing to airdrop $35 million in tokens to its community, the biggest ever. The project has so far raised $102 million in private token sales from other investors that include Aspect Ventures, SV Angel, and Multicoin Capital. Horowitz said the reason they placed a stake on Dfinity is its star-studded team that includes Yale University PhDs, and former Uber technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc. Engineers.
Marc Andreessen’s and Ben Horowitz’s names appear in the honor roll of every significant project in the development of the Internet. They have been big players in Google, Netscape, Facebook, Uber, Twitter and Lift besides making big bets on blockchain projects such as Ethereum, Coinbase, and Ripple.
Depending on your viewpoint, the VC firm is either betting against their earlier wave of investments that are based on centralized data or they are confident enough to invest in the “Next Internet.” Should the project succeed, the competitors that will be given a run for their money the three leading providers of cloud-based services that are Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. In return for their investment, VC Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain will receive Dfinity tokens at its launch. Dominic Williams added:
“At the moment, we’re looking very hard in how to widen distribution […] we’ve got a demand in the hundreds of millions wanting to participate in the project.”