Coinbase’s public listing documents revealed an unusual set of circumstances for a startup: Its venture arm, Coinbase Ventures, had acquired stakes in a handful of companies partially owned by some of Coinbase’s own major investors, including Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.
Such disclosures are the side effect of a growing trend in venture capital. Well-funded startups such as Stripe, taking a page from older tech companies such as Google and Salesforce, are becoming increasingly active VC investors. They often back companies they believe will help expand the market for their technology. In the process, they become prolific VC investors while remaining private and raising their own venture funding.