Andreessen Horowitz Raises $650M Second Fund

Venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, formed by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and entrepreneur Ben Horowitz, has raised $650 million for its second fund, Reuters reported. At a time when many VCs struggle to raise money, Andreessen Horowitz said it took only three weeks to close the fund, which is more than twice the size of its original fund. Formed in 2009, Andreessen Horowitz has invested in companies including social-gaming company Zynga, location services company Foursquare and VoIP service Skype.

Justin.TV and Chief Business Officer Part Ways, One Week After VP of Product Departs

David Aufhauser, the chief business officer of the live-streaming video service Justin.tv, has just announced that he’s “transitioning out” of the company this month. The departure comes roughly one week after Caleb Elston, the startup’s vice president of product, announced that he has left to launch a new startup called Yobongo, a stealth mobile business. Founded […]

Ning’s New CEO on Its Fundraising, Its Future and Gina Bianchini’s Surprise Departure

For the very public Ning, CEO Gina Bianchini’s departure is a very private matter.

Yesterday morning, Marc Andreessen announced in a blog post that Bianchini had “decided to step down after five-and-a-half years of hard work” at Ning, the company they co-founded in 2004. Though Andreessen added that Bianchini is now becoming an entrepreneur-in-residence at his venture firm, observers immediately began speculating that Bianchini had been fired from Ning, noting that she appeared very focused on the company during an interview on “Charlie Rose” late last week.

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Marc Andreessen on “Series Seed Documents,” and Why VCs Should Start Using Them

Beginning later today, entrepreneurs on the verge of raising seed-stage funding will be able to access open-source, stripped-down term sheets called Series Seed Documents.

The documents — authored by Fenwick & West attorney Ted Wang with input from Andreeesen Horowitz, First Round Capital, True Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Ron Conway, Mike Maples, and several other heavy-hitting seed investors — are designed to make entrepreneurs’ first, small financing event as fast, efficient and cost-effective as possible.

Andreessen tells me that the group wanted to produce an alternative to the gratuitously complex term sheets that are typically offered by venture capital firms, and that cost entrepreneurs who need to muddle through them too much in legal fees. (If the move happens to make most other venture firms look like financial bullies, well, maybe that’s okay, too.)

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What Else Y Combinator Looks For In A Startup

It turns out that several of the ideas put out last summer for applicants wanting to start companies at the Silicon Valley incubator are starting to take shape — and not just at Y Combinator.

Y Combinator founder Paul Graham believes ideas about the evolution of technology are inevitable — and Marc Andreessen may have picked up on a couple. He and his partner Ben Horowitz recently funded Rockmelt, which is working on a better browser, and Apptio, which wants to help Chief Information Officers at large companies figure out where and how they’re spending money on information technology — still an expensive and complicated task.

As a side benefit, a company like Apptio could force enterprise software vendors to make better, cheaper software, another problem spotted by Graham as a big one that needs to be solved.

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Why Several High-Profile VCs Sponsored Andreessen

Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz’s $300 million VC fund received no shortage of press attention yesterday, with Google showing 420 articles published online alone (including two here at peHUB).

Given reader appetite for the story, it isn’t surprising that several related articles emerged today. Using the fund as a springboard, the New York Times, for example, published a piece about VCs feeling the need to return to the basics, with Horowitz observing that too many firms base dollar commitments on fund size or number of partners.

Another follow-on piece was published by BusinessWeek. It’s about the perceived role that superstar VCs like John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and Jim Breyer of Accel played in the ability of Andreessen and Horowitz to close on all that money. To wit, the magazine reports that Doerr, Breyer, and Aneel Bhusri of Greylock Partners made numerous introductions to their own LPs on behalf of Andreessen and Horowitz. It goes on to state that in the long tradition of sponsorship in the venture business, such personal introductions translate into more credibility. “Being sponsored is sort of like being a made man in the mob. You are tapped on the shoulder and invited into an elite club.”

While true that Andreessen and Horowitz raised their fund with enviable ease — they began meeting with investors in early March, soon after Andreessen announced his plans to dive into VC on the “Charlie Rose” show –I strongly question whether the other firms’ sponsorship should be credited.

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Marc Andreessen on Why He Passed on Facebook, Twitter vs. Bing and the Companies He Wishes He’d Backed

Marc Andreessen stopped by our offices last week to discuss his new fund, and I took the opportunity to throw out some off-topic questions about Twitter (he’s an angel investor), LinkedIn (ditto) and Facebook (he’s on the board):

How does Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg remind you of your younger self and how is he different?

The big difference is he really wants to be the CEO and has tremendously applied himself to doing that. I actually think he’s not that similar to me from that standpoint. He’s doing a really good job of running company and really wants to. That’s a big difference. Similarities? I don’t know. Young? [Laughs]. Young and hard working. He’s the real deal. He wants to buckle down. He wants to build a great company. He doesn’t want to sell it.

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