A view of Sterling Memorial Library from Cross Campus

Yale University Invests In Two Crypto Funds

Investing, News | October 8, 2018 By:

Yale University, a private Ivy League research university in the US, has reportedly invested in two funds dedicated to cryptocurrencies.

Citing anonymous sources, CNBC reported that the university invested in Paradigm, a cryptocurrency fund created by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang, and Charles Noyes, formerly of stalwart crypto fund Pantera Capital. According to the report, Yale was among investors that helped the Paradigm fund raise $400 million in the last several months. The fund reportedly aims to invest in “early-stage” crypto-focused projects, new blockchains and crypto exchanges.

Yale also invested in Andreessen Horowitz’s inaugural $300 million crypto fund, which closed in June, the sources said. Called a16z crypto, the fund is designed to include the best features of traditional venture capital, updated to the modern crypto world. It invests in a range of companies from blockchain projects to initial coin offerings (ICO).

Yale’s endowment is currently valued at $29.4 billion, the second largest endowment of any educational institution in the world. It is managed by David Swensen, who is known as Yale’s ‘Warren Buffett’ because of his investing success with the university’s endowment. Over the past ten years, Yale’s endowment has returned an average of 7.4 percent per year, comfortably above the estimated 5.5 percent average return of university endowments. In fiscal 2019, Yale’s assets are targeted for alternative investments including venture capital, hedge funds and leveraged buyouts.

Universities have been growing increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. In June of this year, John Lore, a lawyer at the Capital Fund Law Group, said that universities had begun to invest in cryptocurrency on a “limited basis for strategic reasons.”

“I can’t say the names of [the academic institutions] because that’s attorney-client but we have people mostly on the East Coast that have begun doing investments in this space on a fairly modest basis,” Lore said. “Investors are putting in very small percentages of their net worth as we would expect and as I believe is appropriate.”