NewsBusiness

Andreessen Horowitz ‘Temporarily’ Helping Elon Musk With Twitter

Binance isn’t the only pro-crypto company helping Musk improve Twitter—VC goliath a16z has joined the flock.

3 min read
Crypto Twitter

Silicon Valley’s elephant in the room, the massive venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z), is lending a helping hand to Twitter’s new overlord Elon Musk.

Sriram Krishnan, a general partner at a16z focused on crypto, shared a photo from Twitter’s San Francisco office on Sunday afternoon with a note that he is “helping out Elon Musk with Twitter temporarily with some other great people.”

“I (and a16z) believe this is a hugely important company and can have great impact on the world and Elon is the person to make it happen,” Krishnan added.

This isn’t Krishnan’s first time at Twitter HQ. As noted on his LinkedIn page, he worked at Twitter for three years in the San Francisco area from 2017 until 2019. While at Twitter, Krishnan worked on various consumer products such as Twitter’s “Events” feature. His profile also touts that he helped grow the number of Twitter users by over 20% in about two years. Before Twitter, Krishnan worked at Snap, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Now that he’s back at Twitter, it's not fully clear what specific features Krishnan is working on. In response to a request from Decrypt, Krishnan declined to comment further.

Andreessen Horowitz’s interest in Twitter makes sense considering its bullishness in Web3, which is often defined as the next iteration of the internet where users can own digital assets, use crypto, and even potentially regain control over their own data. Back in May, a16z had over $7.6 billion invested in crypto and blockchain-related projects.

While its crypto fund is now down 40% compared to earlier this year, a16z remains optimistic—though it remains to be seen whether its presence at Twitter will push the social media company in a more Web3-friendly direction.

Crypto exchange Binance put $500 million into Musk’s Twitter purchase, and told Decrypt that it’s creating a team to help stop rampant bot activity. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also told CNBC Monday that he supports Musk’s Twitter takeover because Musk is a “strong entrepreneur.”

“We want to make sure that crypto has a seat at the table when it comes to free speech,” Zhao said, adding that he also wants to “help bring Twitter into Web3 when they’re ready.”

Unlike Discord, which walked back teased crypto features last year, Twitter has already launched a few crypto integrations. It added Ethereum and Bitcoin wallet address fields for its tipping feature and released NFT verification for Twitter Blue buyers, turning profile pictures into hexagon shapes to mixed reviews. 

But don’t get too excited about the possibility of a fully-Web3 Twitter just yet.

While Musk initially said he once wanted to see Twitter leverage blockchain networks, he later told a representative for FTX CEO Sam-Bankman Fried via text message that “Blockchain Twitter isn’t possible.”

Editor's note: This article was updated to remove mention of a VC who tweeted that he got verified by publicly asking Sriram Krishnan; the person later said it was a joke and he had already been verified.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.