Arrington Launches ‘CrunchFund’ with $20M from Partners at KP, Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, Others
(Reuters) – Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch and one of the highest-profile U.S. technology bloggers, has created a $20 million venture capital fund to invest in promising startups, Arrington told Reuters.
Fortune magazine’s Term Sheet blog was the first to report the news.
The fund, called CrunchFund, raised an inaugural $20 million fund in September, according to TechCrunch’s CrunchBase. “Investors in CrunchFund include AOL, Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia Capital, the founding partners of Andreessen Horowitz, each of the general partners of Benchmark Capital, Ron Conway, Yuri Milner & Kevin Rose,” CrunchBase reports.
Investor AOL bought TechCrunch in September 2010.
The move comes months after Arrington publicly announced that he had begun to actively invest in startups, triggering lively debate within the industry.
Given his role as founder of an influential blog, Arrington plans to disclose potential conflicts of interest in anything he writes, AOL spokesman Mario Ruiz said. And, AOL will begin looking for a managing editor to oversee TechCrunch’s day-to-day operations and standards, while Arrington remains “founding editor.”
“The easiest way for me to handle this is to be up front about all of these investments and disclose it in posts, which I’ve done and will continue to do,” Arrington, a former corporate lawyer, wrote in a blog post on TechCrunch in April.
Arrington told the New York Times: “I don’t claim to be a journalist. I hold myself to higher standards of transparency and disclosure.”
The NYT went on to say that Arrington “argues that his investments would produce less of a conflict of interest than the other conflicts that all journalists have as human beings, because their thoughts are shaped by friendships, romances and personal opinions. ‘Friendships and marriage are far more potent than financial conflicts,’ he said.”
Arrington created the CrunchFund with Pat Gallagher, a venture capital investor who went to college with Arrington at Claremont McKenna College.
Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, Reuters
Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Reuters. Additional reporting and editing by Lawrence Aragon, peHUB