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Shaun Maguire

  • Seed/Early
My whole life I've sought out people that I think are really talented but a little bit off the radar.

Backstory

Growing up, I had a cousin who studied computer science at UCLA, who made a huge impact on me. When I was 7 years old, he helped me build my first computer. From the time I was 9, I’ve been obsessed with space. For months, when I was 13, I couldn’t sleep at night because there was a thought experiment I couldn’t understand. (It turns out space is curved.) I did horribly in high school. Bored out of my mind. I didn’t even go to class most of the time—1.8 GPA in 10th grade and an F in algebra II. I was doing projects on the computer, hanging out in hacker forums for 10 hours a day in IRC.

I’ve started five companies. The first one was a failure, three of them have been successful, and one is too early to call. I started the second company with two friends and I got to know a lot of VCs raising money for it. I pitched everyone—except Sequoia, because they had a conflict. Fast forward a few years, and Google Ventures offered me a job that gave me the flexibility to stay in LA and finish my Ph.D. in quantum gravity. This wasn’t necessarily what I thought I would do long term. Then another fund that was trying to recruit me did a reference call with my friend Patrick Collison. Patrick called Sequoia and told them they should hire me instead.

On the lookout for

I like high-IQ founders. But even more important to me is someone that’s just irrationally motivated. For whatever reason, it’s their life mission to try to revolutionize the industry they’re going after. And some of these founders don’t even understand where it comes from, or how deeply ingrained it is in them. I’ve got to believe that they work incredibly hard in part to make their families proud. In some cases, they were wildly misunderstood as kids and have chips on their shoulders. One of the ways to measure this is, what do people do on their weekends? The best founders are just so obsessed with what they’re doing that they cannot turn off.

Get in touch with Shaun

Personal Side

  • Quantum gravity
  • First-person shooters
  • Marathoner
  • 95 countries
  • Dolphin Club alum

Press & Media

Companies

Current Companies

Company Name  Short Description Current Stage  Founders First Partnered  collapse
AMP RoboticsAMP Robotics is changing the face of recycling with high-speed guided robotics.Growth
  • Matanya Horowitz
Early (2019)Collapse
BlockaidBlockaid builds web3 security to protect users from fraud, phishing, and hacks.Early
  • Ido Ben-Natan
  • Raz Niv
Seed (2022)Collapse
CalderaCaldera enables dynamic Web3 experiences by enabling developers to launch performant application-specific blockchains.Seed
  • Parker Jou
  • Matt Katz
Seed (2022)Collapse
FactoryFactory is an AI startup bringing autonomy to software engineering.Seed
  • Matan Grinberg
  • Eno Reyes
Seed (2023)Collapse
GatherGather hosts virtual spaces for work and play. Growth
  • Alex Chen
  • Nate Foss
  • Kumail Jaffer
  • Phillip Wang
Early (2021)Collapse
Iron FishIron Fish is a Layer 1 blockchain that provides privacy guarantees on every single transaction.Early
  • Elena Nadolinski
Early (2021)Collapse
KnowdeKnowde is the marketplace for chemicals, polymers and ingredients.Growth
  • Ali Amin-Javaheri
  • Wojciech Krupa
Early (2020)Collapse
LayerZeroLayerZero is an omnichain interoperability protocol that enables trustless cross-chain dApp development.Growth
  • Caleb Banister
  • Bryan Pellegrino
  • Ryan Zarick
Early (2022)Collapse
Mach IndustriesMach is solving hypersonic defense and revolutionizing defense technology.Seed
  • Ethan Thornton
Seed (2023)Collapse
MonadMonad's platform unites security data silos and builds effective security and compliance workflows.Early
  • Christian Almenar
  • Jacolon Walker
Seed (2020)Collapse
PhysnaPhysna codifies 3D models into detailed data for software applications.Growth
  • Paul Powers
Early (2020)Collapse
PrivyPrivy makes Simple APIs to manage user data off-chain.Early
  • Asta Li
  • Henri Stern
Seed (2021)Collapse
RobcoRobco rethinks how products are made, using modular robot systems.Growth
  • Constantin Dresel
  • Roman Hölzl
  • Paul Maroldt
Early (2022)Collapse
SemgrepSemgrep is a code scanning platform for finding first and third-party security vulnerabilities in your code base.Growth
  • Drew Dennison
  • Isaac Evans
  • Luke O'Malley
Seed (2017)Collapse
SpaceXSpaceX designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft.Growth
  • Elon Musk
Growth (2020)Collapse
The Boring CompanyThe Boring Company creates safe, fast-to-dig, and low-cost transportation, utility, and freight tunnels.Growth
  • Elon Musk
Growth (2022)Collapse
The Wire DigitalThe Wire Digital is helping global businesses make smarter decisions.Early
  • David Barboza
  • Lynn Zhang
Seed (2020)Collapse
TipLinkTipLink enables users to send crypto or NFTs with just a link.Seed
  • Aashiq Dheeraj
  • Ian Krotinsky
Seed (2022)Collapse
ViseVise is an AI-powered portfolio management platform.Growth
  • Runik Mehrotra
  • Samir Vasavada
Seed (2019)Collapse
WatershedWatershed is a software platform that helps companies get to zero carbon fast.Growth
  • Christian Anderson
  • Taylor Francis
  • Avi Itskovich
Early (2020)Collapse
XX (formerly Twitter) is what’s happening and what people are talking about right now.Growth
  • Jack Dorsey
Growth (2022)Collapse