Former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford has been named a venture partner at Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm with stakes in companies such as Groupon, Facebook and Zillow.com. TCV has done well in Seattle over the years, backing RealNetworks, VacationSpot.com, Motricity, WhitePages and Blachford’s former employer, Expedia.
Blachford, a well known angel investor in Seattle area startup companies, including Zapd and Travelpost, will be based in the firm’s Palo Alto, California office.
By taking on a venture partner role at TCV, Blachford appears to be following in the footsteps of another former Expedia CEO. Zillow.com co-founder Rich Barton — who Blachford worked closely with in 1995 at Microsoft to create Expedia — has a similar role at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.
The two former Expedia executives remain close, with Blachford sitting on the board of Seattle online real estate company Zillow.com.
Meanwhile, Rob Glaser — the former CEO of RealNetworks — recently was tapped as a venture partner at Accel Partners.
This is good news for Seattle. After all, the more Silicon Valley firms that have connections to Seattle the better. That’s because these successful entrepreneurs can peruse the local scene for cool startups, possibly serving as a feeder system to the big Valley firms.
In addition to Blachford, TCV also announced that former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy has joined the firm in a venture partner role.
Both Expedia and Netflix are former portfolio companies of TCV, which manages more than $7 billion.