Eric Manlunas is a co-founder and managing partner with Wavemaker Partners (formally Siemer Ventures), an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Los Angeles. He is a two-time start-up entrepreneur turned venture capitalist with a strong passion for early-stage investing. Mr. Manlunas co-founded Wavemaker Partners following its merger with Frontera Group, a prior early-stage boutique venture capital firm he founded in 2002. Mr. Manlunas has a proven track record as an early investor in over 120 early-stage ventures, of which half remain active and growing. Those companies have collectively received over $500 million in growth capital. Mr. Manlunas also served in a concurrent capacity as a partner of a Los Angeles-based value hedge fund from late-2002 until its sale to a San Francisco-based commercial bank in mid-2006.
Prior to Frontera, Mr. Manlunas founded Sitestar in mid-1999. Sitestar is an Internet service provider in the rural markets of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Upon helping steer Sitestar in becoming one of the largest independent ISPs in the region, Mr. Manlunas successfully divested his remaining ownership stake in December 2002. Prior to that, Mr. Manlunas’s first startup was Interfoods, a specialty foods venture he founded in early 1997 focused on the consolidation of independently-owned specialty foods providers in the southern California region. During Mr. Manlunas’s 2 1⁄2-year tenure, Interfoods became a mid-sized specialty foods provider in its market and was successfully acquired in late 1999.
Mr. Manlunas began his career as a consulting associate with Arthur Andersen’s retail management consulting division from 1991-1995. He earned an M.B.A from Pepperdine University in 1995 and a B.S. in Communications from Florida International University in 1990. Mr. Manlunas is currently a member of the board of a number of emerging companies and has previously served as board member of over half a dozen ventures. He is also a trustee of the Philippine Development Foundation, an organization committed to social development initiatives in the Philippines, Mr. Manlunas’ country of origin.