“Ex-SpaceX Leader Tom Ochinero Establishes Fresh Venture Capital Entity, Documents Disclose”

Former senior SpaceX executive Tom Ochinero is teaming up with SpaceX alum-turned-VC, Achal Upadhyaya, and one of Sequoia’s top finance leaders, Spencer Hemphill, on a new venture called Interlagos Capital, TechCrunch has learned. There is little public information available about Interlagos, and the trio did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment. Ochinero, Upadhyaya and Hemphill are all listed on the documents. Ochinero is just the latest SpaceX executive to move from the behemoth space company into venture investing. Other notable investors in the SpaceX-to-VC pipeline include Founders Fund’s Scott Nolan, who was a very early SpaceX employee, and Alpine Space Ventures’ Bulent Alton.

Former Senior SpaceX executive Tom Ochinero has joined forces with SpaceX alum-turned-VC Achal Upadhyaya and Sequoia’s top finance leader Spencer Hemphill to launch a new venture known as Interlagos Capital, TechCrunch has recently discovered.

While there is limited public information about Interlagos, the trio has chosen not to respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment. The company was officially established in the state of Delaware on March 7 and was registered as an out-of-state company with the state of California on April 11. All three members, Ochinero, Upadhyaya, and Hemphill, are listed on the official documents, with their main address located in El Segundo, California.

“Interlagos”, a trademark application, was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 4. The application shares an identical address to the one listed on the company’s business registration. According to the application, Interlagos will specialize in “venture capital services; venture capital funding services, namely, providing financing to emerging and start-up companies.”

Ochinero departed from SpaceX in February, after serving for nearly ten years as the company’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Business. During his tenure, he played an integral role in establishing SpaceX as the leading company in commercial launch globally. According to sources familiar with the matter, Ochinero stepped down to attend to a family medical matter.

Teaming up with Ochinero in Interlagos is another former SpaceX employee, Upadhyaya, who spent a decade holding engineering positions before joining investment firm Cantos as a venture partner in 2022. According to his LinkedIn profile, Upadhyaya left Cantos earlier this year. During his time there, his investments included satellite bus manufacturer Apex Space and motion control system developer Salient Motion, both of which were founded by ex-SpaceX members.

Completing the team is finance executive Spencer Hemphill, who is joining the venture from Sequoia, where he also worked for ten years. Hemphill left the firm earlier this year, holding the position of Assistant Controller.

Ochinero is just one of many former SpaceX executives to make the transition from the massive space company to the world of venture investing. In fact, the trend has become so popular that a website has been created to connect those leaving SpaceX with potential investment opportunities. Other notable investors who have made the move from SpaceX to VC include Founders Fund’s Scott Nolan, a very early member of SpaceX, and Alpine Space Ventures’ Bulent Alton.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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