a16z Execs Launch Institutional Crypto Custody Firm, Secure Novi Wallet

• Former a16z executives Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq have started an institutional-focused crypto custody firm.
• The duo previously helped develop the crypto custody infrastructure for Facebook’s Novi wallet.
• This venture is backed by seed funding from a16z and focuses on securing cryptographic keys for hedge funds, asset managers, and banks.

Former a16z Executives Launch Crypto Custody Firm

Senior technology and security executives from venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq, have reportedly started an institutional-focused cryptocurrency custody firm. The duo had held the positions of Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at a16z respectively, receiving seed backing for their new venture.

Previous Work with Facebook Novi Wallet

Before joining a16z, the tandem co-created the crypto custody infrastructure for Facebook’s Novi (formerly Calibra) wallet. Calibra was introduced by Facebook in June 2019 as a digital wallet to facilitate transactions using its proposed cryptocurrency Libra. However, due to regulatory backlash it was rebranded as Novi in December 2020 with its focus shifted to stablecoins pegged to major currencies like USD.

Security Focus Throughout Development

Throughout Novi’s development, security was a top priority with Nassim and Riyaz playing a significant role in building its crypto custody infrastructure. After this they consulted various projects in the a16z Crypto portfolio before venturing into Anchorage where they focused on private key security within distributed infrastructures.

Competitive Institutional Crypto Custody Space

Institutional crypto custody is competitive space with different technologies managing cryptographic keys for hedge funds, asset managers, and banks. Before their involvement with blockchain technologies, both executives worked together at Docker on securing application provenance, authentication systems and designing secure OS used in Docker Desktop which is an open source platform automating cloud deployment of applications through containers packaging them along with their libraries, configuration files etcetera ensuring consistent running of applications regardless of environment they are deployed in.


This venture of Faizullabhoy & Eddequiouaq is backed by seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz aiming at providing secure platform to manage cryptographic keys for institutions involved in trading cryptocurrencies making sure that no matter what environment these applications are deployed in they run consistently without any disruption or compromise on security front.