The Bear Gets a Checkbook

4:35 PM -- Mike Volpi's new job with Index Ventures is more relevant to the Light Reading world, but it's Marc Andreessen's new venture fund that caught all the buzz this morning.

Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have founded the ingeniously named Andreessen Horowitz venture capital fund, which was announced Sunday but got disclosed to the world last week. They've got $300 million in their pockets and plan to spread it among dozens of companies -- mostly seed-stage, but there's potential for followups as large as $50 million.

Andreessen gives a capsule version of his goals in this Wall Street Journal video interview. He contends there's so much change happening that some of the important work is still being overlooked. "Most of the things happening in the computer industry, broadly defined, including the Internet, generally are underhyped," he contends.

A lot more detail is revealed in a lengthy interview with Venture Capital Journal, where Andreessen notes that the fund is close to closing one deal and has begun working a second. He also says the fund will be sticking to his and Horowitz's areas of expertise -- software -- and absolutely won't buy into chip startups. "Building a fab scares us, and fabless also scares us for different reasons," he says.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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