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Former top SpaceX exec Tom Ochinero sets up new VC firm, filings reveal | TechCrunch

Former top SpaceX exec Tom Ochinero sets up new VC firm, filings reveal | TechCrunch

Former SpaceX senior executive Tom Ochenro is teaming up with SpaceX alum-turned-VC Achal Upadhyay and one of Sequoia's top finance leaders, Spencer Hemphill, on a new venture called Interlagos Capital, TechCrunch has learned.

Little public information is available about Interlagos, and all three did not respond to TechCrunch's request for comment. The company was officially incorporated in the state of Delaware on March 7th, and was registered as an out-of-state company with the state of California just days earlier on April 11th. Ochinero, Upadhyaya and Hemphill are all listed on the documents. Original address is in El Segundo, California.

A trademark application for “Interlagos” was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office on April 4. The address entered in this application matches the address found on the company's business registration. The application states that the company will deal in “venture capital services”. Venture capital funding services, namely, providing financing to emerging and start-up companies.”

Ochinero left SpaceX in February after nearly ten years at the company, where he eventually became senior vice president of commercial business. In that role, he helped SpaceX achieve the undisputed world lead in commercial launches. People familiar with the matter told CNBC at the time that Ochinero was resigning “to attend to a family medical matter.”

With Interlagos, he is teaming up with another SpaceX alum — Upadhyaya — who spent a decade in an engineering role at SpaceX before joining investment firm Cantos as a venture partner in 2022. According to his LinkedIn, he left sometime this year. At Cantos, Upadhyaya's stakes included satellite bus maker Apex Space and motion control systems developer Salient Motion, both startups led by former SpaceX founders.

Spencer Hemphill, a finance executive, is building the team. He is coming from Sequoia, where he also spent ten years. He left the firm sometime this year as assistant controller.

Ochinero is just the latest SpaceX executive to move from the behemoth space company to venture investing. It's quite popular for people to leave SpaceX to found other companies or invest in them. A website dedicated to connecting the two groups.. Other notable investors in the SpaceX-to-VC pipeline include Founders Fund's Scott Nolan, who was a very early employee of SpaceX, and Bulent Alton of Alpine Space Ventures.

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