Austin Ventures Adds Andrew Busey as Venture Partner

Austin Ventures has named Andrew Busey, former general manager and vice president at Zynga, as a venture partner. At the firm, Busey will help identify early stage investments. Austin Ventures has $3.9 billion under management.

Austin Ventures (“AV”), the most active and established early-stage venture capital firm in Texas, today announced that Andrew Busey, former VP/GM at Zynga (ZNGA), has joined the firm as venture partner. Andrew brings extensive leadership and operational experience from his years of working with high-growth companies as an entrepreneur, leader, investor, and advisor.

“In his new role, Andrew will help the venture team identify and attract very early-stage companies,” said John Thornton, General Partner, Austin Ventures. “He has an extensive network and solid reputation within the entrepreneurial community and we’re delighted to welcome him to our team.”

“As a founder and CEO, I have experienced firsthand what it takes to build a start-up company. I am very excited to work alongside the AV team on new opportunities while helping entrepreneurs build successful category-defining businesses,” said Busey.

Busey’s most recent success was the sale of Challenge Games, where he was founder and CEO, to Zynga, where he recently stepped down after building its Austin office and leading a large team developing social games. Over the past 15 years, Andrew has pioneered some of the industry’s most important web technologies — including work on Mosaic, the first web browser (now part of Microsoft Internet Explorer); creating iChat, the first web-based chat system and one of the first instant messaging applications; and building WebCenter, the first major web-based customer service technology (now part of Avaya).

Andrew co-founded AV portfolio company Pluck (acquired by DemandMedia), which enables social media on major sites such as, USA Today, and Reuters. In the past, Andrew led, developed, and contributed to numerous “Multi-User Dungeon” or “Multi-User Domain” (MUDs) games, which were the early predecessors to games like World of Warcraft and Everquest. In 1994, he wrote Secrets of the MUD Wizards, the first major published book on the topic. Andrew is an inventor on 15 technology patents and has several others pending.

He is a graduate in computer science and marketing from Duke University and holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

About Austin Ventures Austin Ventures (“AV”) has worked with talented entrepreneurs to build valuable companies for over 25 years. With $3.9 billion under management, AV is the most active venture capital and growth equity firm in Texas and one of the most established in the nation. With an investment focus on business services and supply chain, financial services, new media, Internet, and information services, AV invests at all stages of company development, from $100,000 in “planned experiments” in early-stage ideas to $100+ million investments in expansion rounds and recapitalizations. AV’s strategy is to partner with talented executives and entrepreneurs through its CEO-in-Residence and Entrepreneur-in-Residence programs. Visit for more information.