Formation 8 Adds Shirish Sathaye As Its Newest Partner

Formation 8 has been busy lately, as the relatively new venture firm has been adding team members and (reportedly) is in the midst of raising its second fund. Today the company announced the hiring of its newest team member, former Matrix and Khosla Ventures partner Shirish Sathaye.

Formation 8 was founded just a few years ago by Joe Lonsdale, Jim Kim and Brian Koo, and raised $448 million for its first fund. Already the firm has had some early success, thanks to its investments in Oculus Rift and RelateIQ. Oculus, of course, was bought by Facebook for $2 billion, and RelateIQ sold to Salesforce for $390 million.

With that momentum behind it, the firm is seeking a new, $500 million fund to continue making investments in startups. The firm is largely stage-agnostic, putting money in at any time from seed to late-stage, and it’s looking for new, category-defining companies.

Sathaye will be helping the firm to invest in opportunities primarily around enterprise networking and similar technologies. He’s been in the tech scene for nearly 30 years, starting as an engineer at DEC. He moved his way up the ranks of various tech firms until he became VP of engineering at Alteon WebSystems, which was acquired by Nortel back in the day.

After that, Sathaye became a partner at Matrix Partners, where he served on the board of Aruba Networks for nearly a decade. In 2010, he joined Khosla Ventures and made investments there for the next three years. Last year, he left the firm to take a much-needed break, he told me by phone.

“I had never taken any time off,” he said. “I was one of those weird Silicon Valley people who, even though we had financial success in other companies, never took a break.”

He says he spent six months with family not talking to anyone about tech. Then, about six months later, started taking meetings and angel investing on his own. But Sathaye enjoyed working with a team better, and so was convinced to join Formation 8.

At his new firm, Sathaye will be reunited with some people he had known from his days at Khosla — most notably Kim, Gideon Yu and new Formation 8 advisor Pierre Lamond. That familiarity is one of the reasons he says he joined.

“I know these guys, they know me, and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said.