Madrona Venture Group, the Seattle venture capital firm that raised a $300 million fund last year, continues to add horsepower to its team.
The latest addition is a familiar face at Madrona.
Bill Richter, who first met the Madrona team about a decade ago when he joined Isilon Systems, is the firm’s newest venture partner. He joins an impressive group of new additions at the 21-year-old firm, which last year named F5 CEO John McAdam, Concur CEO Steve Singh and Isilon co-founder Sujal Patel to the strategic director roles.
It is not a surprise that Madrona is loading up with ex-Isilon talent. The Seattle-based storage company sold to EMC for $2.25 billion in 2010, one of the best exits in the firm’s history. Under EMC, Richter served as president of the Isilon Storage Division, helping it achieve $1.5 billion in annual sales.
In his new role, Richter will help identify emerging startups and provide strategic guidance to existing portfolio companies.
Richter tells GeekWire that he’s excited about the new role and is looking forward to helping entrepreneurs “build world-class companies.”
“Right now, technology is changing at a pace and magnitude never before seen,” said Richter, who previously worked in finance at Amazon. “That creates enormous opportunities for new businesses. And when you look at the capabilities we have in the region — vast technical talent, a strong business ecosystem and a culture that prides itself on not being afraid to challenge the status quo — you can’t help but be excited.”
Among the areas of interest for Richter: enterprise software and what he dubbed “datacenter 2.0 companies.”
“As the next generation of those businesses intersect with things like big data and machine learning, we’re going to see a lot of disruption,” he said. “Over the last year, I’ve also spent a lot of time digging into things like Virtual and Augmented Reality. I think that technology has huge potential beyond gamers and will be part of our daily lives in the not so distant future.”