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Former SpaceX CEO Tom Ochinero is setting up a new VC firm, documents show




Former SpaceX CEO Tom Ochinero is setting up a new VC firm, documents show

Former senior SpaceX executive Tom Ochinero is teaming up with SpaceX alumnus Achal Upadhyaya and one of Sequoia’s top finance leaders, Spencer Hemphill, on a new venture called Interlagos Capital, JS has learned.

There is little public information available about Interlagos, and the trio did not respond to JS’s request for comment. The company was formally incorporated in the state of Delaware on March 7 and was registered with California as an out-of-state corporation just days ago, on April 11. Ochinero, Upadhyaya and Hemphill are all listed on the documents. The main address is in El Segundo, California.

On April 4, a trademark application for “Interlagos” was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That application lists an address that is identical to the address shown in the company’s business registration. The filing states that the company will engage in “venture capital services; Venture capital financing services, namely, providing financing to emerging and start-up companies.”

Ochinero left SpaceX in February after nearly a decade with the company, eventually becoming senior vice president of commercial affairs. In that role, he helped SpaceX become the undisputed world leader in commercial launches. People who are familiar with the matter told CNBC at the time that Ochinero resigned “to deal with a family medical matter.”

At Interlagos, he works with another SpaceX alum – Upadhyaya – who spent a decade in technical roles at SpaceX before joining investment firm Cantos as a venture partner in 2022. He left sometime this year, according to his LinkedIn. At Cantos, Upadhyaya had deployed satellite bus manufacturer Apex Space and motion control system developer Salient Motion, both startups led by ex-SpaceX founders.

Spencer Hemphill, a chief financial officer, completes the team. He is from Sequoia, where he also spent ten years. He left sometime this year, leaving the company as assistant controller.

Ochinero is just the latest SpaceX executive to move from the behemoth aerospace company into venture investing. People leaving SpaceX to start or invest in other companies are so popular that they exist a website dedicated to connecting the two groups. Other notable investors in the SpaceX-to-VC pipeline include Scott Nolan of the Founders Fund, a very early SpaceX employee, and Bulent Altan of Alpine Space Ventures.