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Former SpaceX Executive Tom Ochinero Launches New Venture Capital Firm, According to Filings.

Tom Ochinero, a former senior SpaceX executive, is collaborating on a new business named Interlagos Capital alongside SpaceX alumnus turned venture capitalist Achal Upadhyaya and one of Sequoia’s top financial executives, Spencer Hemphill, TechCrunch learned.

Regarding Interlagos, not much information is accessible to the public, and the three did not reply to TechCrunch’s request for comment. The firm was officially incorporated on March 7 in the state of Delaware, and it was only a few days ago, on April 11, that it was registered with California as an out-of-state company. The records list Hemphill, Upadhyaya, and Ochinero. The main mailing address is in California’s El Segundo.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office received a trademark application for “Interlagos” on April 4. The address on that application matches the address on the business registration of the company. The business will engage in “venture capital services; venture capital funding services, namely, providing financing to emerging and start-up companies,” according to the application.

After working for SpaceX for almost ten years—during which he rose to the position of senior vice president of commercial business—Ochinero left the company in February. In that capacity, he assisted SpaceX in becoming the clear global leader in commercial launches. At the time, CNBC was informed by people with knowledge of the situation that Ochinero was leaving “to attend to a family medical matter.”

He is collaborating with Upadhyaya, another SpaceX veteran, on Interlagos. Upadhyaya worked as an engineer at SpaceX for ten years prior to becoming a venture partner at Cantos in 2022. His LinkedIn indicates that he left sometime this year. Upadhyaya placed bets at Cantos on firms run by former SpaceX employees, Salient Motion, a developer of motion control systems, and Apex Space, a maker of satellite buses.

An executive in finance named Spencer Hemphill completes the group. He is leaving Sequoia, where he also worked for ten years. He left the company as an assistant controller at some point this year.

Ochinero is the most recent executive from SpaceX to enter the venture capital industry. It’s so common for people to leave SpaceX to start other businesses or invest in them that a website exists just to link the two groups. Two more prominent investors in the SpaceX-to-VC pipeline are Bulent Altan of Alpine Space Ventures and Scott Nolan of Founders Fund, who was an early employee of SpaceX.


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