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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.”

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.

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

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

Press & Media

Current Companies

  • AMP Robotics is changing the face of recycling with high-speed guided robotics.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Shaun Maguire,
      Josephine Chen
    Partnered In

    2019

  • DeSo is a layer-1 blockchain custom-built to scale decentralized social applications.
    Current Stage

    Seed

    Partner
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Faraway Games builds social blockchain games with player-driven universes.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Gather hosts virtual spaces for work and play.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Shaun Maguire,
      Pat Grady
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Iron Fish is a Layer 1 blockchain that provides privacy guarantees on every single transaction.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Knowde is the marketplace for chemicals, polymers and ingredients.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Shaun Maguire,
      Josephine Chen
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Monad's platform unites security data silos and builds effective security and compliance workflows.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Physna codifies 3D models into detailed data for software applications.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Shaun Maguire,
      Doug Leone
    Partnered In

    2020

  • r2C is a defensive cybersecurity automation company with an open-source static analysis tool.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partners
      Jim Goetz,
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2017

  • SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Strips Finance is an interest rate derivatives exchange on Arbitrum.
    Current Stage

    Seed

    Partner
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Vise is an AI-powered portfolio management platform.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Shaun Maguire,
      Ravi Gupta
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Watershed is a software platform that helps companies get to zero carbon fast.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partners
      Michael Moritz,
      Shaun Maguire
    Partnered In

    2020