It was only a matter of time before Michael Arrington began investing in some of the companies that he writes about on Techcrunch. Yesterday Mike announced that Heather Harde the SVP of M&A and Fox Interactive is joining Techcrunch as the CEO. As of now TechCrunch is one of the most popular blogs online and Arrington’s Crunch Network includes a few other popular blogs as well. Does a small network of popular blogs really require a relatively big name CEO? No.
Mike Arrington says Heather will “leverage the opportunities that we have sometimes let slip by.” It’s pretty obvious that he’s talking about investing. All internet start-ups are constantly pitching to Arrington to get posted and to experience the “Techcrunch effect”. Not a bad position to be in if you are an investor.
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan (Froosh) argues that in addition to investment, Techcrunch will provide preferential treatment on the blog to the companies that they are investing in. Froosh also makes a good point:
More importantly, to VCs, TC just lost some street cred. Think about it, if TC had absolutely no skake or interest in company XYZ but mentioned it in a favorable light, then it can be said that TC helps VCs with the sorting of opportunities. But if VCs now get a sense that Arrington will give preferential coverage to companies who give up a stake to TC, then clearly VCs will go look elsewhere for reviews.
Now that Techcrunch is going corporate, maybe there will be a new space in the market for less biased reviews. Both Frank Gruber and Orli Yakuel seem properly placed to fill the void. It will be interesting to see how this turns out for Techcrunch. Good luck Mike!