Arianna Simpson becomes Andreessen Horowitz’s new deal investor

The Autonomous Partners founder starts work at the famed VC firm next month

Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z) has a new deal investor. 

Arianna Simpson, who is the founder and managing director of crypto hedge fund Autonomous Partners, announced on Twitter Friday that she will be joining the team as of March. 

“I’ve admired the brand and platform that a16z has built from afar. When the opportunity arose to join forces, particularly given we’d already invested in many of the same founders, it made perfect sense,” she said. 

Simpson also said she would continue to manage the hedge fund while taking on her new role at Andreessen Horowitz.

Founded more than a decade ago by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz is a Silicon Valley venture capital firm best known for backing bold entrepreneurs. In June 2018, the firm launched a dedicated crypto fund to invest in the space. Currently the fund reportedly has over $350 million. It’s notable for investments in Polychain Capital, Ripple, Dfinity, Coinbase, Filecoin, and even Crypto Kitties.

Simpson is an early stage investor who has been backed by hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen of Cohen Private Ventures twice and other leading investors, including Union Square Ventures. All eyes were on her in 2018 as she started to make investments for Autonomous Partners, which she founded in late 2017. That was at the peak of the crypto bubble when bitcoin soared to nearly $20,000. (It’s now worth less than half that.)  

The ex-Facebook employee and former BitGo product manager is frequently sought out as a pundit by the media to comment on the state of blockchain and cryptocurrency investments.

It was way back in 2013, when Simpson first tumbled down the bitcoin rabbit hole. She was working for Facebook at the time. “I was a little bit early, but it’s worked out pretty well since then,” she said in speaking at conference in late 2018.

Andreessen Horowitz General Parter Kathryn Haun welcomed her onboard. 

(Update on Feb. 4 at 8:00 a.m. Simpson is not a Y Combinator alum.)
(Editor’s Note: Modern Consensus Founder Ken Kurson sits on the board of Ripple.)

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Amy Castor has more than 20 years' experience in journalism. Her work on crypto and blockchain has appeared in consumer and trade publications throughout the U.S., including CoinDesk, Forbes, Bitcoin Magazine, and The Block.