Announcing Electric Capital’s New General Partners: Ken Deeter and Maria Shen

We are excited to announce that Ken Deeter and Maria Shen have been promoted to General Partners at Electric Capital. All of Electric Capital’s Partners are engineers.

We believe the next generation of iconic venture firms will be led by software engineers because capital markets will be crypto-enabled. As value becomes digital, new technologies to transfer and aggregate that value naturally emerged: DeFi has over $50B capital in smart contracts. NFT trading volume is $12B+ annualized. There are over $120B in stablecoins on chain. Crypto demonstrates the potential for on-chain, 24/7, global capital markets.

Engineering capability and technical contributions are essential to helping founders succeed on these new open platforms. VCs will need expertise in areas such as liquidity provisioning, governance, code security, designing novel token mechanisms, and more.

We are excited to welcome Ken and Maria as General Partners who exemplify our philosophy.

Ken Deeter is an engineer who leads our DeFi investments.

Ken invests in novel DeFi mechanisms such as Frax, a new approach to stablecoins and liquid staking derivatives, Hashflow, an on-chain settled RFQ-based trading system supported by the largest crypto market makers, Hourglass, the first protocol to create a market for time-locked digital assets, Tokemak, the first “liquidity gun” in DeFi, and many more.

When DeFi emerged in 2018, Ken created the term Guarded Launch, a process to de-risk DeFi launches. Ken used his experience writing software for 3 billion people at Facebook to introduce a concept of a “roll out” for DeFi protocols to protect users without slowing development.

Ken also leads our liquidity provisioning and governance participation efforts. Today, we have hundreds of millions of dollars participating actively on-chain. Capital deployment at this scale has required us to build custom monitoring and management systems that can keep pace with the ecosystem’s break-neck speed of innovation.

Ken has over 20 years of experience leading teams and building products including at VMware and Facebook. He was an early engineer at VMware, writing code for the desktop product suite used by developers and IT managers across the majority of Fortune 500 companies. At Facebook, he was an early contributor to the Newsfeed team, and helped to build the Events product used by over a billion people on a monthly basis.

Maria is an engineer who leads our NFT investments.

Only a handful of women in the world are General Partners at crypto funds with more than $1 billion in assets. Maria is one of them.

Maria invests in NFT companies and protocols that push the boundaries of what is possible with NFTs as infrastructure, like RabbitHole, the most efficient way to give token rewards to high quality users on chain, Atrium, the auction house for exceptional artists to earn through commissions and create productions such as the Nouns Movie, and Curta, a capture-the-flag protocol where the best engineers create and solve on-chain puzzles to earn NFTs.

Maria was one of the first to write in-depth about NFT use cases in early 2021 when NFTs were not well understood. Since then, many use cases she outlined have become reality and sophisticated financial systems are increasingly built on top of NFTs. Maria heads experimentation across the NFT space to provide liquidity to burgeoning NFT asset markets and participate in community governance.

Outside of investing, Maria created and publishes our annual Developer Report. The Developer Report is a public good and the industry standard for understanding developer adoption since 2019. It analyzes more than 200 million code commits, 500k repositories including deep dives in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi to index developer activity across the entire crypto sector. Every year, the Developer Report receives coverage from Bloomberg, Coindesk, Decrypt, Forbes, Techcrunch, and many others. The Developer Report also powers insights that regulators use to understand crypto adoption. Maria wrote the code for the data analysis layer that generates these insights every year.

Maria is a former founder and worked on search technology at Microsoft that shipped to more than 1 billion devices.

Electric Capital is built differently - by necessity.

The process of raising capital, identifying opportunities, and deploying capital is increasingly moving on chain. Soon, venture investing will happen primarily on-chain. In the on-chain world, capital deployment is not just software-enabled, it is only possible with software. 

In order to invest in a future where money is software, we must build software to deploy capital, participate in governance, and assess the quality of code both on- and off-chain. We demonstrate our commitment to this approach by also building in public alongside the ecosystem. Our engineers build systems that help builders advance crypto like the Developer Report, an index of open source developers in crypto, Codeslaw, a search engine for smart contracts made for developers, and open source tools to audit and inspect the blockchain. 

If you are an engineer or have a technical background, we welcome you to apply to our open positions.

About Electric Capital

Electric Capital is one of the largest global venture capital firms focused on investing in early-stage crypto companies and protocols. Founded in 2018 by successful entrepreneurs, Electric Capital believes all capital markets will be crypto-enabled. Electric believes the next generation of iconic venture firms will be led by software engineers who have the technical depth to invest in a financial system run by code. With a team of over 60% engineers, Electric applies their experience in distributed systems, cryptography, and machine learning to each stage of the investment process. Electric invests in layer 1s, decentralized finance, NFTs, developer tooling, infrastructure, crypto-enabled fintech, privacy solutions, and marketplaces.

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