Very interesting news. In this climate of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, noted entrepreneur Marc Andreessen (who led the development of the first web browser and co-founded Netscape, among other things) and Ben Horowitz have raised 300 million dollars for early stage investments:

Sources said the fund–which was nicknamed “Project A” but is actually called Andreessen Horowitz–will be $300 million. It is $50 million over the $250 million he and Horowitz had planned.

Several major institutional investors–from universities, for example–have invested large chunks of up to $20 million or more, while a spate of Silicon Valley luminaries has put in amounts of $1 million or less.

The quick completion of the fund raising, in the midst of a national econalypse, is a good sign perhaps for the forward-leaning culture of tech, which has seen some pullback by VCs over the last six months.

They certainly have the entrepreneurial chops, and are talking the talk about doing early stage deals and being patient:

His new effort will focus on early-stage investments, he said in the interview with Rose, noting that “our claim to fame is, we’ve actually, you know, by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, we’ve done it, we’ve been on that side of the table for a long time; we know what it’s like.”

Andreessen said then that he and Horowitz had made 36 investments over the last three years of up to $200,000, but that his new firm will make up to $1 million bets on companies they decide to invest in.

Plus, he said then he would be patient: “Like with our new fund, if we fund a company today, we’re thinking about a return in seven to 10 years, so we can go through three or four or even five years of economic downturn, as long as, at some point, we come out the other end.”

Udhay Shankar N

Udhay is a veteran of the technology and entrepreneurship scene, having helped found his first entrepreneurial venture straight out of college in 1991. Since then, he has been invoved in various pioneering ventures,
including (among other things) India's first web site company (in 1995), and India's first startup to get silicon valley venture capital funding (in 1999). He has helped build Yahoo!'s first social media network (before facebook existed) and was recently helping Intel build new products for the Indian consumer. In addition, he set up and ran the startup accelerator at the VC fund, Axilor Ventures, and spends a lot of time helping startups of various kinds further refine their product and strategy.

He is also the force behind the well-known discussion group silklist, since 1997, which makes it one of the longer-lived email lists on the net. Discussions on silklist have ended up inspiring articles, books, Ph.D theses, and sociological studies. Recently, he helped found the 'unconference' styled event, The Goa Project, which aims to bring interesting people of all types together to learn and collaborate..

More info about Udhay on Linkedin.