Voyager Capital Co-Founder Enrique Godreau Leaves Firm

2/10/12Follow @curtwoodward

A big change at Seattle’s Voyager Capital: co-founder Enrique Godreau has resigned after nearly 15 years, as the VC firm seeks to raise a $125 million fourth fund.

Co-founder Bill McAleer says the decision was Godreau’s. “He’s making a personal transition. He wants to go pursue some entrepreneurial and philanthropic interests that he has,” McAleer tells Xconomy. “He felt that he wanted to go do that full-time.”

Godreau started his technology career at Xerox, a stint that included seven years at the company’s famed Palo Alto Research Center. Godreau also has worked previously for Gartner, Adobe, and Aldus. News of his departure was first reported this afternoon by GeekWire.

In an e-mail, Godreau tells me that his experience at Voyager “has been one of the most fulfilling and satisfying of my professional career.” As for the future, it sounds like Godreau has some ideas about how early stage financing could change to better reflect shifts in the overall tech industry.

Godreau

“Over the last 15 years, we have seen and experienced a lot of change in the business of start-up formation and all aspects of the information technology industry—open source, the smartphone, the cloud, social networks, ubiquitous digital networks, etc.,” Godreau writes. “Yet it seems odd to me that in spite of these seismic changes, the world of venture hasn’t really adapted or changed very much. … I am going to take some time to revisit the roots of venture capital, reflect on my personal experiences as a VC, and play with the question, ‘What would I do different?’”

Godreau says he also will continue his work with Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based nonprofit that focuses on healthcare, education, social issues, business, and energy projects in Latin America.

As a Seattle-based managing director for Voyager, Godreau held board seats most recently at Placecast, Photobucket, and Zebra Imaging. Godreau also was previously a board observer at aQuantive, the Voyager portfolio company that was acquired by Microsoft for $6.4 billion in 2007. In fact, Godreau points out that aQuantive’s IPO was actually his first exit as a VC.

Voyager is currently still investing out of its third fund, which was capped off at $107 million in 2007. McAleer says Voyager is looking to do another four or five investments out of its third fund, which has focused on early venture rounds with investments ranging from $500,000 up to about $3 million, with a “sweet spot” of around $2 million.

Voyager has $370 million under management. Its investments generally target digital media, software and services, wireless, and clean IT along the West Coast.

McAleer declined to comment when asked if Godreau’s departure might affect the current fundraising. But for the firm in general, he said Voyager is in a stable and growing position, with directors in Seattle, Portland, and Silicon Valley. He also pointed to the recent additions of Jesse Berst and Ray Bingham to the firm’s advisory board.

Godreau notes that “it is precisely at the beginning of when a new fund is being raised that partner transitions should occur.”

“We’re feeling that we’ve got a fairly stable team, and the team’s been working together for quite a long time, actually,” McAleer said. Voyager’s other managing directors are Erik Benson in Seattle and Portland, and Daniel H. Ahn and Curtis Feeny in Menlo Park, CA. Venture partners include Geoff Entress, Tom Huseby, and Bruce Chizen.

Updated at 4:30 pm 2/10/12 with comment from Godreau.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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