Former TechCruncher Gets Backing From CrunchFund

Zappos CEO also invests in mystery startup

Following his spectacular departure from popular startup blog TechCrunch, writer Paul Carr is working on a startup of his own. And he's doing it with money from TechCrunch-owner AOL.

Specifically, Carr has raised funding from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and from the CrunchFund, which is run by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and counts AOL as one of its major investors. Business Insider broke the news, and Carr confirmed it on his blog.

Carr left TechCrunch as part of the controversy over that same fund. When Arrington attracted a flurry of criticism for his decision to invest in startups through the CrunchFund while continuing to write for TechCrunch, Carr was one of his loudest defenders. He was particularly inflamed on the subject of AOL, which he said was breaking its promise to maintain TechCrunch's editorial independence. He published a final column last week as a parting shot at AOL and TechCrunch's new editor Erick Schonfeld, accusing Schonfeld (who was formerly co-editor with Arrington) of cutting "a side deal" with Arianna Huffington to remain in charge of the site. (Schonfeld responded by calling Carr "a misinformed coward" on Twitter.)

Carr, who has written a book about his past startup failures, isn't saying what the new company is called or what it will do, except that "it will directly address an issue I’ve written passionately about for both TechCrunch and the Guardian." Business Insider says it will "focus on a specific problem at the intersection of technology and media." Carr plans to publish a diary chronicling the startup process at The Guardian and on his blog.

The announcement blog post also includes a quote from Arrington: "Paul has managed to be successful at failing in almost everything he’s done professionally. It is my sincere hope that his experience, his passion, or just dumb luck will lead him to fail to fail this time."