Posted March 5, 2021

One of the challenges in any new industry — crypto being no exception — is building things that are not just cool for the sake of cool, but that manage to reach and delight a broad set of users. Technology is at its best when it’s improving the lives of people in tangible, concrete ways. And with new technology like crypto, the strongest approach is often to give users those benefits without requiring them to get too involved in the nuts and bolts.

At a16z Crypto, we are constantly on the lookout for paths to get cryptocurrency into the hands of the next billion people. How do we think that will happen? By helping them achieve what they already want to do: spend, save, and make money — and by focusing users on tangible benefits, not on the underlying technology. 

That’s why we’re excited to announce our investment in Eco. 

Eco’s mission is to reimagine not only how consumer financial products work — but also to reimagine money itself. Eco is not a bank, checking account, or credit card. Although it has elements of each, it’s better than all of those. It begins as a single wallet that rewards you anytime you save or spend your dollars. 

Today, financial transactions involve numerous players at every level — banks, credit cards, processors, and more — introducing inefficiencies and fees along the way. Without the burden of legacy, misaligned business models, Eco is able to offer rewards that sound almost too good to be true, but aren’t. 

As investors, we’re in the business of finding and backing big ideas, and Eco has no shortage of those. The challenge is often finding teams who have the skills to back up that vision and bring it to life. 

In Eco, we found both. 

We’ve gotten to know Andy Bromberg and the rest of the Eco team through their work in the crypto space over the last several years. Our firsthand experience and the feedback from others in the community has been resoundingly positive. 

Andy, Ryne, and Henry’s backgrounds bring an incredible mix of crypto expertise, product skills, legal acumen, and raw intellect. Their drive and enthusiasm are obvious, and just what is needed to help bring a fundamentally new, consumer-aligned network into the world. 

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Eco, and can’t wait for you to #takeyourcashback.