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Internet Pioneer Andreessen’s Venture Fund Nears $1 Billion

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Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, right, talks to Mark Pincus, CEO of social gaming startup Zynga at the annual Allen & Co. Media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Thursday, July 8, 2010. (AP)

Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, right, talks to Mark Pincus, CEO of social gaming startup Zynga at the annual Allen & Co. Media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Thursday, July 8, 2010. (AP)

MENLO PARK (AP) — A venture capital fund run by Internet browser pioneer Marc Andreessen and his longtime business partner, Ben Horowitz, has raised another $650 million as the firm looks for opportunities in technology startups.

That brings to nearly $1 billion the total that the Andreessen Horowitz firm has raised since it started a year and a half ago. Some of the firm’s prominent investments have included Zynga, an online game maker, and Foursquare, which lets people publish their whereabouts around town. The firm was part of an investor group that bought a majority stake of the Skype Internet phone service last year from eBay Inc.

In an interview at the firm’s Silicon Valley offices, Andreessen and Horowitz said some of the areas they’re interested in include tablet computers, software for mobile phones and cloud computing – letting other companies manage software and services out of vast data centers that serve many other customers. The firm already has invested in Kno, which is making large-screened tablets for displaying educational textbooks, and Nicira Networks, which aims to improve the performance of cloud services delivered over the Internet.

Andreessen co-authored the first widely used Internet browser. He and Horowitz struck it rich when Netscape, which Andreessen co-founded and in which Horowitz held key roles, was sold to AOL for $10 billion at the height of the dot-com boom. They hit the jackpot again when they sold a company they started together, called Opsware, to Hewlett-Packard for $1.7 billion in 2007.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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