Katie Haun isn’t fazed by the crypto crash. It’s when ‘serious builders’ get to work
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Nancy Pelosi will run for another term in Congress, a photo of an activist stony-faced alongside the prime minister sparks debate in Australia, and Katie Haun isn’t scared of the crypto crash. Have a great Wednesday.
Today’s guest essay comes from Fortune senior writer Michal Lev-Ram:
– Crypto’s kingmaker. Crypto investing is not for the faint of heart. So it’s a good thing Katie Haun’s prior career involved going after white collar criminals, prison gangs, and corrupt federal agents.
Last month, when the former federal prosecutor-turned-venture capitalist announced she was leaving Andreessen Horowitz to go solo with her own crypto-dedicated fund, the market for NFTs, cryptocurrencies and other so-called “web3” applications was sky high. Now, in the midst of a massive crypto correction (or perhaps I should say bloodbath—the industry lost $1.4 trillion in market value earlier this week), Haun, the subject of my just-published Fortune cover story, remains unfazed.
“It’s important to monitor markets,” says Huan. “But as a fiduciary and long-term investor there are more important signals than short-term price fluctuations.”
This isn’t Haun’s first downturn. She was the first female general partner hired at Andreessen Horowitz, where she spent the last four years co-leading its crypto team. (The crypto market experienced another massive crash in 2018.) She’s now become one of very few women heading up a crypto-dedicated firm, with sources telling me she plans to raise at least $1 billion for her new venture.
“Amazingly, most VC firms still don’t have any women in senior investing roles, and women-founded venture funds raised just a few billion dollars in all of 2020,” says investor and AllRaise cofounder Aileen Lee. “Katie’s success to date, and the promise and composition of her new firm, offer huge inspiration for people of all kinds. The world of finance is changing in part because of her.”
For her part, Haun says it was just the right time to go out on her own. While at Andreessen Horowitz, she invested in buzzy companies like Coinbase, OpenSea, and Royal. She also became a bit of a celebrity in the industry—and someone actual celebrities call on for guidance about crypto.
“Katie and I had met at a dinner and I was incredibly impressed by her and her background,” Mindy Kaling, the actress, writer, and producer tells me via email. “She’s a venture capitalist I would actually like to vacation with.”
Apparently, Haun is also a venture capitalist Kaling wants to do business with. As outlined in my story, the celebrity is throwing her weight behind Haun’s new firm by taking on an advisory role. The idea, according to Haun, is that Kaling will be someone her founders can call on for advice on how to navigate the entertainment industry, an increasingly attractive market for crypto entrepreneurs.
To be sure, Haun will need more than Kaling’s star power to succeed. To that end, she is expanding the full-time team of six people she brought over from Andreessen Horowitz. She’s in build mode, and has yet to even name her new firm. And the current crypto crash? Haun believes it will pave the way for even more investment opportunities.
“Historically, many of the best projects emerge from down cycles,” she says. “That’s when noise and hype dissipate and serious, committed builders get to work.”
Apparently, that includes Haun.
Read my full story here.
The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- One more time. In 2018, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this term would be her last in the role. But, Pelosi announced late yesterday, she plans to run for reelection to Congress this year. She hasn't said whether or not that means she'll run for speaker again. CNN
- Wonder-ful news. A Fortune exclusive this morning: Gwyneth Paltrow is joining the board of Wonder, the new food delivery service launched by Jet.com founder Marc Lore. Paltrow and Lore met five years ago, and she says he's been a mentor and adviser as she's grown Goop's e-commerce business. And, Paltrow tells Fortune in an interview, she has ideas for how Wonder, with its model of vertical integration in food delivery, could make delivery options healthier nationwide. Fortune
- Say cheese? The photo dividing Australia: Grace Tame, a 27-year-old activist for survivors of sexual assault, stands beside Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. But Tame isn't smiling in the photo, taken at a celebration of 2022's Australians of the Year. The image has prompted criticism from those who call the activist disrespectful. At the same time, it's resonated with those who understand why Tame wouldn't be inclined to plaster a smile on her face as she stands next to the PM after a sexual assault scandal roiled the Australian government. Marie Claire AU
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Cynthia Burks, chief people and culture officer at Genentech, joined the board of people development platform Torch. Okta's Vicky Xiong is now SVP of engineering at Fast. Sherice Torres, formerly CMO at Meta's Novi, is now CMO at Circle. Jenna Hopkins, a former Congressional staffer who worked on the House's Jan. 6 committee, joined the Anti-Defamation League's government relations team as director of technology policy.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Next gen. In her annual letter, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki says the video platform has plans to help creators capitalize on technology like NFTs and Web3. She calls this next generation of tech an "unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans." CNBC
- Vape crisis. Chu Lam Yiu, one of the richest self-made women in China, saw her net worth tumble after the tobacco and vaping business she founded, Huabao International Holdings, disclosed an investigation by its local government and the Chinese Communist Party for "unspecified suspected disciplinary violations." Chu's fortune was valued at $7 billion last year. Financial Times
- Loud and proud. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she feels a "responsibility" to talk about menopause, as a woman in midlife with a public platform. Appearing on a podcast about the experiences of women over 40, the politician discussed preparing for potential hot flashes in parliament and considering hormone replacement therapy. Guardian
ON MY RADAR
Melania Trump auctions off her hat, and has become the latest victim of the cryptocurrency crash Washington Post
Without the Child Tax Credit, I may have no choice but to join the Great Resignation Fortune
Is Kanye West good for Gap? Financial Times
-Emma Thompson, 62, on the nudity in her new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
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