Arianna Simpson, 30, is promoted to general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
Source: Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz is adding a new, high-profile partner to help deploy its $2.2 billion cryptocurrency fund.
Thirty-year-old Arianna Simpson is being promoted to general partner from deal partner roughly a year after joining, the company announced Monday.
Simpson has become somewhat of a celebrity in the cryptocurrency world. She left a global marketing job at Facebook and joined BitGo in her early 20s. Then she launched her own venture capital firm at age 24 to invest in blockchain and crypto companies. Friends and mentors advised her not to.
“It was an unpopular decision,” Simpson told CNBC in an interview. “But the opportunity cost of not going into this industry was just too high.”
Simpson said she was “blown away” after reading bitcoin’s white paper and thought it was “the most important innovation” of her lifetime. She continued researching cryptocurrencies and tried to convince Facebook to launch a crypto project before its foray into the space with Libra, now called Diem. It was “four to five years too early,” she said.
Simpson invested early in a bear market. Bitcoin’s value dropped by as much as 80% in early 2018 and most smaller cryptocurrencies followed suit. Her firm, Autonomous Partners, backed companies such as Celo during those years, overlapping with some of Andreessen’s early crypto plays.
Andreessen Horowitz entered the crypto space…