University of Michigan endowment plans to back Crypto Venture Fund

The University of Michigan’s $12 billion endowment plan intends to siphon more of its funds in a “crypto network technology fund” (CNK Fund I), managed by American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

According to a document released on Feb 21 by the University’s Board of Regents, the endowment had already committed $3 million to the CNK Fund I last year in June. The document states that this amount has been approved and unspecified amount will follow at a future date.

The crypto network fund is managed by Andreessen Horowitz, the Menlo Park-headquartered venture capital firm also known as a16z. According to Kevin Hegarty, the chief financial officer at the state-run educational institution, the fund was created to invest in crypto technology across the spectrum of seed, growth stage opportunities, and venture.

The document outlines the reasons behind Andreessen Horowitz decision to create a dedicated fund for crypto was primarily because “crypto has become an important area of innovation and entrepreneurship that warrants focused attention.” The document adds that crypto has become “a distinct type of technology by entrepreneurs, funding sources, and developers.”

The document further explains:

“As opportunities related to crypto networks transition from being undefined to becoming more visible and sharply defined the need for a separate thematic fund may recede. In addition, the regulatory landscape for crypto-based investments is potentially more cumbersome than is the case with the sort of traditional IT investments that otherwise characterizes AH’s activities.”

Universities are leaving big imprints in the cryptocurrency industry. Last year, Yale made a David Swensen led endowment of $29.4 billion to a crypto venture funds. The funds were allocated towards helping Andreessen Horowitz’s project. They also awarded about $400 million to a cryto-focused fund created by Veterans from Coinbase and Pantera Capital a crypto fund by stalwart.

In the same month, the Ivy League titan Harvard had invested capital into at least one cryptocurrency fund. Harvard holds the record for having the largest university endowment globally of about $39.2 billion.

Other universities have also made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency industry. These include Dartmouth College, Stanford University, the University of North Carolina and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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