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Get in line: Netscape founder has $300 million to spend


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Sunnyvale (CA) – Have a great idea for an Internet company? Head right over to Marc Andreesen, best known for (co-) inventing the web browser as we know it today at NCSA in the early 1990s and commercializing his idea through Netscape. Andreesen announced the founding of a $300 million VC firm, ready to give out somewhere between $50,000 and $50 million to the next great idea.

If you have a convincing idea for the next Google or Facebook, there is now another destination to look for funding. Andreesen wrote on his blog that he and his long-time business partner Ben Horowitz are looking for “the brilliant and motivated entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team with a clear vision of what they want to build and how they will create or attack a big market.”

It seems somewhat apparent that Andreesen has ideas such as Facebook in mind, a company that he helps to shape as one of its board members and a company that is estimated to have a value of somewhere between $10 and $20 billion. In a recent interview with Reuters, Andreesen stated that Facebook will achieve revenues of more than $500 million this year and could hit more than $1 billion if advertising was pushed harder. Within a few years he expects Facebook to have billions of dollars in revenues.

As a founder of Netscape, former CTO of AOL (which acquired Netscape for $4.2 billion), as well as a founder of Loudcloud (which was acquired by HP for $1.6 billion), Andreesen has a clear idea of what he is looking for. The VC is aimed at “consumer Internet, business Internet (cloud computing, ‘software as a service’), mobile software and services, software-powered consumer electronics, infrastructure and applications software, networking, storage, databases, and other back-end systems.” He wrote that “across all of these categories, we are completely unafraid of all of the new business models – we believe that many vibrant new forms of information technology are expressing themselves into markets in entirely new ways.”

On the other hand, the new fund would “almost certainly not an appropriate investor for any of the following domains: “clean”, “green”, energy, transportation, life sciences (biotech, drug design, medical devices), nanotech, movie production companies, consumer retail, electric cars, rocket ships, space elevators.”

“We do not have the first clue about any of these fields,” Andreesen wrote.

Of course, those interested in VC funding should expect a game as usual with Andreesen’s money, and that would include the roles of people within a company:

“We cannot substitute for entrepreneurial vision and drive, but we can help such entrepreneurs build great companies around their ideas. […] We are hugely in favor of the technical founder. We will generally focus on companies started by strong technologists who know exactly what they want to build and how they are going to build it. We are hugely in favor of the founder who intends to be CEO. Not all founders can become great CEOs, but most of the great companies in our industry were run by a founder for a long period of time, often decades, and we believe that pattern will continue. We cannot guarantee that a founder can be a great CEO, but we can help that founder develop the skills necessary to reach his or her full CEO potential.”

Interested? Apply here.