Marc Andreessen joins the VC ranks

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Not everyone is has been scared off by weakening returns on venture capital: Marc Andreessen, best known for co-founding Netscape and serving as the chairman of social network builder Ning, is creating a new venture fund. He first announced that he’s “creating a fund” on the Charlie Rose Show yesterday, and he confirmed to peHUB that it’s going to be a venture capital fund.

Of course, Andreessen is already an active investor who has backed Facebook, Digg, Twitter, and many others; and he has been running an angel fund with former Opsware executive Ben Horowitz since 2007. Andreessen told Rose the venture fund will “preserve and extend” the angel model; investments will range from $200,000 to $1 million, with $500,000 as the “typical size.”

“What we’re seeing is a whole generation of startups that actually don’t need very much money to get started, so the cloud computing example, or a mobile application, an iPhone developer doesn’t need very much money to get started,” he said.

I’ve emailed Andreessen asking for more details, and will update if he responds. TechCrunch has a transcript of Andreessen’s Charlie Rose appearance, which is full of good stuff, including his statement that Facebook could be making a lot more money if it were willing to run giant banner ads, but is choosing not to.