Andreessen Horowitz Backs NFT Investor Group behind Rare Wu-Tang Clan Album Purchase

Andreessen Horowitz Backs NFT Investor Group behind Rare Wu-Tang Clan Album Purchase

Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital company that acquired Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” album and an NFT of the original Doge picture, has joined the crypto group. PleasrDAO, a blockchain-aligned club of a few dozen crypto investors, has made an investment in PleasrDAO, according to TechCrunch. PleasrDAO has been joining up to acquire high-priced NFTs in recent months. 

The organization acquired the renowned Doge picture for $4 million (1,696.9 ETH to be exact), fractionalized it, and then sold it to the crypto community (the current estimated market cap is a little over $100 million). In addition, the DAO spent $5.4 million for Edward Snowden’s work and $4 million for the Wu-Tang Clan’s album.

A DAO (or decentralized autonomous organization) is a formal group that makes decisions and invests funds using blockchain voting methods. PleasrDAO is not A16z Crypto’s first publicly stated investment in the organization type. A friend with Benefits (FWB) DAO, which they valued at $100 million, acquired the business in October. Although council member Santiago Santos stated that their entire interest in the DAO’s governance tokens was “less than 5%,” Andreessen Horowitz did not reveal the magnitude of their investment in PleasrDAO.

PleasrDAO, like many other crypto organizations, was founded with a single goal in mind: to bid on a work by a digital artist, in this instance one by pplpleasr. The work in question was an animated video commercial for Uniswap, a decentralized trade network. 

“Anyone wants to start a fast DAO to bid on this?” tweeted crypto pioneer Leighton Cusack in March, prompting the formation of the organization. The group finally won the auction for 310 Eth (about $525,000 at the time), with the funds going to charity. Santos tells TechCrunch, “Very fast on, we felt, a lot of the brightest brains in DeFi are here – there is a potential to really push this in an exciting path.” “I believe the DAO matured to the point where we felt we required more structure and authority over time.”

Since then, the company has continued to make investments and expand its repertoire, all while looking for new artists to sponsor. Santos wants the organization to grow into a “Medici house” of NFTs, where “a lot more digitally native artists may come and get introduced and noticed,” according to Santos. A16z GP Ali Yahya tells TechCrunch, “DAOs are almost the purest representation of what web3 and crypto are all about.”

While a16z was among the first to invest in crypto, the growth of so-called “crypto native” investment funds that operate closer to founder and developer networks in the area has forced legacy businesses like a16z to become more aggressive in their support of emerging groups like DAOs. 

PleasrDAO has a number of areas where Andreessen Horowitz can assist, including policy and regulatory problems – an area where DAOs now appear to be functioning in a murky area as uncontrolled investment funds of pooled cash.