Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Sarah Lacy Debuts New Tech Site, PandoDaily — $2M+ in Funding and Guess Who’s Working for Her? (Video)

As has been widely reported, well-known TechCrunch columnist and Silicon Valley journalist Sarah Lacy has a new gig: Running her own new tech news site, which debuts today.

(She’s pictured here with another recent adorable start-up of hers, named Eli.)

Not so widely reported? The site, called PandoDaily.com, will feature three of TechCrunch’s most high-profile former bloggers: Michael Arrington, M.G. Siegler and Paul Carr.

That’s right, Lacy is Arrington’s boss this time around — even though his CrunchFund venture firm will also be an investor, in a funding round of more than $2 million for PandoDaily.

Other investors — whom Lacy described as “people I like and respect” — include a panoply of tech movers and shakers, including personal investments from Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Matt Cohler, Jeff Jordan, Josh Kopelman, Zach Nelson, Andrew Anker, Saul Klein, Tony Hsieh and Chris Dixon, as well as seed investments from Greylock Partners, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, Accel Partners and Menlo Ventures.

There will certainly be questions about all these funders who are also topics of PandoDaily’s posts, which Lacy acknowledged. She said the large number of funders was calculated so that none had undue influence.

Of course, many in Silicon Valley will be watching her carefully for any conflicts of interest or punches pulled. Lacy insisted that there will not be a problem and joked that she will definitely not become a VC, referring to the controversy around Arrington becoming one while at TechCrunch.

That issue blew up like a Roman candle, of course, leaving everyone with powder burns — I called the incident a “giant, greedy, Silicon Valley pig pile.”

Interestingly, Lacy did manage to stay out of the spotlight (she was, in fact, having her baby during the worst of the controversy, which was likely more painful).

Ignoring the delicious epic revenge part of this on AOL — which bought TechCrunch and then promptly presided over a tech version of the War of the Roses (and is, ironically, an investor via CrunchFund) — PandoDaily will focus on start-ups in Silicon Valley and everywhere else that homegrown spirit of innovations reaches.

Here’s a screenshot of the cleanly designed and handsome site:

In an inaugural post, titled ““Why I Started PandoDaily,” Lacy compared the site to a colony of trees in Utah, saying, “We have one goal here at PandoDaily: To be the site-of-record for that startup root-system and everything that springs up from it, cycle-after-cycle.”

Which is kind of like TechCrunch, which she left earlier this year.

“This is not TechCrunch 2.0,” Lacy said to me in an interview last week. “But, of course, we will be compared to TechCrunch.”

Of course, especially because of the presence of its star lineup on PandoDaily — who will write regularly, along with an initially small staff of other writers — and also its plans for conferences and other gatherings.

(An AOL source, by the way, said there were no contractual noncompete issues for PandoDaily to worry about.)

Here’s a longish interview I did about PandoDaily with Lacy, who has written two books focused on entrepreneurs, worked at Businessweek and was founding co-host of Yahoo Finance’s daily show “TechTicker.”

She talks about the site’s unusual name, her wrangling over leaving TechCrunch, and the prospect of now running her own show.

Welcome back, Sarah (and call me if you need help with those dudes, as we have wrangled before).

Here’s the video:


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