Michael Arrington Becomes An AOL-Backed VC

Michael ArringtonIt’s been a publicly acknowledged fact that the veritable dad of TechCrunch Michael Arrington likes to invest on startups. While it’s been often criticized that this might put the integrity of the tech blog in peril (after all, it does write about startups), the site never writes favorably or negatively on startups Arrington invests in, but does write if there’s something newsworthy about it.

AOL-owned TechCrunch has the rare distinction of being the first and last word on all things tech. If you’re an entrepreneur in this age of social driven startups and endless apps, getting publicized by Techcrunch is a major boost. Their CrunchBase is also a resource to beat—all those companies under a single search engine. Priceless.

TechCrunch’s coverage of the NY Tech Scene is also worth commending. Not to knock the local press over here, but TechCrunch is a bookmarked essential. A former Silicon Valley attorney before launching TechCrunch in 2005, Arrington and his collaborators grew the news site into a premiere source for everything tech.

Last year, TechCrunch was acquired by AOL and surprise, surprise, it’s been reported his newest venture isn’t free of AOL. It’s been made known that he’s starting a venture fund for early tech companies, with AOL participating.

The financial goal is a modest $20 million, which already includes contributions by his new partners: AOL (surprise!), Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, Sequoia Capital, and Patrick Gallagher.

UPDATE: On Friday the news broke that Michael Arrington has resigned as editor of Techcrunch, though he “will continue to write for TechCrunch, but will have no editorial oversight” so says an AOL spokesperson. His new priority is called the CrunchFund.
Via: Betabeat, Wall Street Journal