Battery Ventures lands Netflix executive Cockcroft

Adrian Cockcroft, Chief Cloud Architect of Netflix, speaks during Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco, June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (Reuters)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Battery Ventures has lured away Adrian Cockcroft, the engineer who remade Netflix's streaming-entertainment service, to become the venture-capital firm's first technology fellow. Cockcroft will help Battery advise and evaluate companies and formulate investment theses, said Mike Dauber, a principal at Battery, in a blog post on Tuesday. While Cockcroft will play a role in sourcing deals, he won't be a partner. In his own blog post, Cockcroft said he would counsel large enterprise companies who want to work more in the cloud-- using remote computers that work over the Internet rather than proprietary centralized computers. In Netflix's case, Cockcroft moved its streaming entertainment to Amazon's cloud platform. Hiring entrepreneurs-in-residence is a common practice in Silicon Valley, where venture capital firms see it as a way to foster the next big start-up. But Cockcroft's role as technology fellow is different because while EIRs typically stay for 6-12 months, Cockcroft will stay with Battery long term, Dauber wrote. Bringing Cockcroft into the fold underscores Battery's commitment to enterprise computing. Its prior investments include Akamai, an Internet delivery network, and Omniture, the online marketing and web analytics business acquired by Adobe. Last year, Battery raised $900 million to invest, including its $650 million Battery X fund. (Reporting by Sarah McBride; editing by Andrew Hay)