High-profile tech blogger launches VC fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Michael Arrington, one of the highest-profile U.S. technology bloggers, has created a venture capital fund to invest in promising start-ups.

The editor of TechCrunch will lead the $20 million "CrunchFund," whose list of limited partners reads like a who's who of Silicon Valley heavyweights, from Kleiner Perkins to Andreessen Horowitz.

Online company AOL Inc, which bought TechCrunch in September 2010, is also a limited partner in the new fund.

The move comes months after Arrington publicly announced that he had begun to actively invest in start-up companies, triggering lively debate within the industry.

Given his role as founder of an influential blog, Arrington plans to disclose potential conflicts of interest in anything he writes, AOL spokesman Mario Ruiz said. And, AOL will begin looking for a managing editor to oversee TechCrunch's day-to-day operations and standards, while Arrington remains "founding editor."

"The easiest way for me to handle this is to be up front about all of these investments and disclose it in posts, which I've done and will continue to do," Arrington, a former corporate lawyer, wrote in a blog post on TechCrunch in April.

Arrington created the CrunchFund with Pat Gallagher, a venture capital investor who went to college with Arrington at Claremont McKenna College.

Among the limited partners investing in the fund are venture capital firms Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, according to a description posted on the TechCrunch website.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)