This a16z Alum Is Launching a VC Fund Focused on Platforms You Can ‘Own’

This a16z Alum Is Launching a VC Fund Focused on Platforms You Can ‘Own’

Prototypes (Halacious/Unsplash)

An Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) alum is launching a new venture firm focused on building a crypto-powered “ownership economy.” 

Jesse Walden, who focused on blockchain investments at a16z, announced his Variant Fund in a published Tuesday.

Walden said the new fund is focused on the idea that the people who make platforms and products strong can share in their growth. He wrote:

He cites examples like , which is distributing a large portion of its governance tokens to users, , which is starting to sort out how tokens fit into the Web 2.0 giant’s business model, and other examples.

In an email to CoinDesk, Walden said the fund is backed by a16z’s Chris Dixon and Marc Andreessen, Union Square Ventures and Compound’s – “mentors I respect and have built relationships with over the years as both an entrepreneur and investor,” Walden wrote.

Variant Fund has made investments already, Walden said, but they’ve yet to be announced.

Walden co-founded , an a16z-backed blockchain startup that tracked ownership rights of online images and other intellectual property. After the firm was in 2017, Walden worked for the music-streaming giant for before decamping to a16z.

“To help build the ownership economy, I’ll partner with entrepreneurs and communities at the earliest possible stages,” Walden wrote.

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Longtime political watchers might draw a connection between the “ownership economy” thesis and former President George W. Bush’s “” messaging.

, the President bemoaned a past where only a very few held equity in major companies, celebrating a present where it was possible for almost anyone to hold a share. 

What the President probably didn’t anticipate at that time was a future where people could own a company that exists only on the web and, like Bitcoin, has no one in particular in charge. As Walden described in from January, Variant appears built to help founders head in that direction.

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