Eclipse Ventures in Palo Alto just added two more big wheels as general partners
Mike McNamara retired from the electronics manufacturing giant and services business Flex last December after 12 years as CEO of the company — and another 12 working his way up to the corner office — but he didn’t say at the time where he was headed.
As it turns out, McNamara had decided to join Eclipse Ventures, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm led by Lior Susan, who’d previously founded LabIX, a hardware investment platform backed by Flex, when it was still called Flextronics.
McNamara isn’t the firm’s only new general partner, either. Eclipse is also announcing today that it has brought aboard Sanjay Jha, who was most recently the CEO of Global Foundries and was both CEO and co-CEO of Motorola Mobility before that. (And before Motorola Mobility, Jha spent 14 years as an executive at Qualcomm, including as the COO of one of its divisions.)
The hires are a big deal. They’re also in line with the other big wheels that Susan has drawn into Eclipse, which funds full-stack companies — meaning companies selling hardware, software and data — and which just officially closed on $500 million in funding two weeks after an SEC filing appeared that suggested as much.
In 2016, for example, Eclipse hired as a partner Greg Reichow, who was previously Tesla’s executive leader of global manufacturing, factory/automation engineering, supply chain and “product excellence.”
Eclipse is also run by Pierre Lamond, who made his name over a very long career with Sequoia Capital.
Others of its (male-only) investment team include Adam Bryant, who was formerly a director with Proterra, the electric bus company; Justin Butler, who led commercial operations at Misfit, a digital health company acquired by the Fossil Group for more than $250 million; and Seth Winterroth, who was previously an investor at GE Ventures.
Eclipse is still relatively low-flying as venture firms go, despite the team it has assembled. Very possibly, Susan learned a lesson about being in the headlines, having been a part of Formation 8, a firm that made a splashy debut but later disbanded.
Either way, it’s not slow to pull the trigger. According to Crunchbase, Eclipse has invested in roughly 50 companies. Among those startups to receive checks from the firm most recently are Augury, a six-year-old, New York-based machine health startup that connects vibration and ultrasonic sensors to smartphones to detect machine malfunctions before they happen, which just raised $17 million in Series B funding; and Spell, a two-year-old, New York-based deep learning and AI infrastructure platform that last month raised $15 million co-led by Eclipse.