‘I’m Not Looking Where the Puck Is Right Now’: Katie Haun Picked an Awkward Time to Launch a Crypto Fund
The hard-driving former federal prosecutor turned venture capitalist is learning the values of patience.
Oct. 7, 2022 1:00 PM PDT
Katie Haun has set up the offices of her new venture capital shop surprisingly close to her old one. Always security conscious from her time battling cybercriminals for the U.S. Department of Justice, Haun prefers to keep the precise location of her exceedingly well-funded Haun Ventures secret. Suffice it to say a skilled golfer at the nearby Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park, Calif., might be able to drive a ball from Haun’s front door through a window at Andreessen Horowitz, the firm that launched her meteoric second career before she left to launch her own fund this year.
Not that Haun, who is 47 and has raised $1.5 billion after a mere four years as a venture capitalist, professes a desire to smash anything at her ex-employer’s headquarters. Despite VC-land whispers that Haun’s relationship with Andreessen Horowitz is frostier than both sides suggest, Haun said during an hour-plus-long chat last week that the opposite is true.
“I still talk to Chris Dixon,” she said, referring to the bigger firm’s grand pooh-bah of crypto. “I feel like he was a great mentor to me. And I’m extremely grateful to both Marc [Andreessen] and Ben [Horowitz] for giving me the chance to get into venture. It’s not just anyone that would have said, ‘Oh, a federal prosecutor is going to make a great venture capitalist.’ So kudos to them for realizing to think outside the box, which is what they do all the time as venture capitalists.”
But when I asked how Haun Ventures differs from the firm, Haun was ready with examples. “One is clearly that our size is very different, not only the size of our fund”—one-third the size of Andreessen’s $4.5 billion crypto fund—“but also the size of our team,” which numbers 12 compared to her alma mater’s nearly 500. “I think of ourselves as a nimble strike force,” she said, sitting on a couch in a large atrium of her building, wearing pale-blue denim slacks, a navy knit sweater and snappy brown heels from Dior.
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