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Launching a Web3 or Crypto Startup? This VC Giant Wants to Take You to School

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • a16z offering a $500,000 investment for each startup.
  • In return it wants 7% equity and other standard rights.
  • VCs will control vast swathes of the web3 digital economy.
  • promo

The tech industry’s most prominent venture capital company is moving back into the education sector with its school for Web3 and crypto startups.

Andreessen Horowitz, otherwise known as a16z, has announced its crypto startup school restart as it aims to accelerate the growth of Web3.

On Oct. 19, the VC giant tweeted the details of the venture that includes a $500,000 investment from the company. It has opened applications for the 2023 cohort, which will run from March to May in Los Angeles, California.

A16z ran something similar in 2020 with startups, including Solana wallet Phantom, Notional Finance, Teller, and Goldfinch Finance. However, it has now expanded the startup school into a fully-fledged accelerator. The firm stated the participants from its 2020 cohort have gone on to raise over $300 million.

Education for crypto and web3 startups

It is a sly move by the company to pledge financial support to these fledgling startups in return for a cut if they make it:

“a16z crypto will invest $500,000 into every company that participates, in exchange for 7% equity and certain other standard rights.”

The twelve-week accelerator focuses on the specific needs of web3 startups. It includes mentorship from industry founders, lectures from experts, and the opportunity to build alongside fellow protocol founders.

Around 30 companies will be accepted, and the application period closes on Nov. 30.

Andreessen Horowitz’s burgeoning investment portfolio comprises almost 50 crypto and web3 companies. Some of the bigger names include Alchemy, Celo, Chia, Compound, Dapper Labs, Dfinity, Diem, dYdX, Maker, NEAR, OpenSea, and Solana.

VCs will own the web3 sector

The move is somewhat of an oxymoron. This is because the entire premise of web3 revolves around a decentralized version of the internet we use today.

That vision is getting slowly eroded as centralized venture capital giants such as a16z have got their fingers in all the digital pies.

This means that when today’s startups are established and web3 has taken over from web2 in a few years, the VCs and early investors will control vast swathes of the ecosystem. This will likely make it just as centralized as the internet is today, with tech giants such as Google and Meta in control.

Another issue is that VCs often get access to tokens at a far lower price than retail traders and the general community. When they need liquidity, they dump these tokens on the market at a huge profit causing major losses for retail.

This has just been clearly seen with the heavily VC-backed Aptos blockchain and its APT token. The APT price tanked 50% today, hours after exchanges listed them.

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...