Enrique Godreau has weathered the ups and downs of the Seattle venture capital business for the past 15 years, with plenty of battle scars to prove it. But now the co-founder and managing partner of Voyager Capital has decided to leave the venture capital world behind, GeekWire has learned.
“The state of the firm and the funds makes this an opportune time for me to transition and pursue my next set of challenges,” Godreau writes in an email. “I have appreciated working with you in the past and look forward to staying in touch and continuing our relationship.”
We’ve reached out to Godreau to find out more about what he plans to do next, and we’ll update as we hear more. Today is his last day at the firm.
Bill McAleer, who co-founded Voyager with Godreau and Tony Audino in 1997, described the departure as a “normal transition.” The firm remains healthy with recent additions to the team in California and the Pacific Northwest. (Audino left the firm several years ago to start the company Conenza).
“We’ve enjoyed working with (Enrique) and he’s been a great guy to have on our team, and he has added a lot of value to the firm,” said McAleer.
Godreau — who helped lead the firm’s investment in online advertising giant aQuantive (sold to Microsoft for $6 billion) — will hand over his three board seats at Placecast, Zebra Imaging and Photobucket to other partners.
McAleer declined to comment on Voyager’s plans for a fourth fund, which as we reported last month is currently in the works. Voyager raised a $108 million fund in 2006, and while it continues to place new bets on early-stage companies it is hitting the financing trail in 2012.
In addition to the news of Godreau, Voyager just added former Cadence Design Systems executive Ray Bingham and smart grid expert Jesse Berst to its advisory board.
UPDATE: I heard back from Godreau, who shared this message about his time at Voyager and what’s next for him.
“It has been 15 years since I co-founded Voyager Capital and what a fantastic ride it has been! The highlight, without question, has been the privilege to work with so many skilled and passionate entrepreneurs.
From my first exit, aQuantive’s IPO, to my last, Oracle’s acquisition of GoAhead Software in October 2011, as well as the many, many entrepreneurs I have mentored, funded, or sought to help along the way, my experience while at Voyager has been one of the most fulfilling and satisfying of my professional career. I wish all of my colleagues at Voyager nothing but the best.
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.
Yet it seems odd to me that in spite of these seismic changes, that the world of venture hasn’t really adapted or changed very much. In terms of my next steps, 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?”
I will also continue to work closely with Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based organization I have been involved with for 6+ years, whose mission it is to expand opportunities for people living in poverty. Between my entrepreneurial and philanthropic interests, I expect to be busy.”