Crypto Startup Alum Katherine Wu Joins VC Firm Notation Capital

Former Messari director (and crypto-law Twitter fixture) Katherine Wu has joined Notation Capital, a small VC firm.

AccessTimeIconAug 8, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:18 a.m. UTC
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Katherine Wu was up until 3 a.m. Wednesday annotating Kik's response to its complaint from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In 130 pages, Kik went point- by-point through the SEC's case, and Wu went through page-by-page and indicated which ones readers of her blog should take in, skim or just skip.

"That's what I do for fun," she told CoinDesk later that morning.

And now Wu is once again employed to dig deep, into startups.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Wu has been named a principal at Notation Capital, a venture capital firm that invests across the technology sector, including parts of the crypto industry.

Founded by Nicholas Chirls and Alex Lines, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Notation invests based on its teams' areas of interest, which has included several blockchain-related investments, such as Filecoin, Livepeer and Bison Trails, to name a few. Notation is also known for investing in the very early stages of a company or project.

In a draft blog post shared with CoinDesk in advance, the company writes:

"We weren’t hiring for this role – and then we met Katherine. For anyone that’s been fortunate enough to spend some time with K-Wu, it’s clear within minutes that she has a unique talent to bring people together, ask the right questions, and then get shit done in a way that is very much her own."

Last month, the firm hired crypto mining veteran Thomas Bailey. Wu makes it a team of four.

Down the rabbit hole

A graduate of the Cardozo School of Law in New York, Wu discovered crypto while studying to be a securities attorney.

"I fell into crypto first and then fell in love with the tech world later, which I feel like is the opposite of most people," Wu said. "When I first got into crypto was when SAFT was starting to become a thing and ICOs were starting to become a thing."

The legal questions raised by those token sales interested her first, but then she became more interested in the technology. "It was simply the most intellectually challenging topic I'd ever come across," Wu said. "You're constantly being questioned on every assumption you make."

She was a member of the founding team at Messari, where she served as director of business development before leaving the crypto data firm in March.

While Wu will not be exclusively crypto-focused at Notation, she does expect to help the company source some of those deals. She's reluctant to identify specific areas of the industry she's on the lookout for.

"Because of how quickly the landscape changes and how quickly your assumption changes, it's sometimes hard to hold onto one cool idea at a time and look at it on a long term horizon," Wu said, concluding:

"It's definitely really exciting for me to be given this role to write checks and support businesses if I really feel strongly about that."

Katherine Wu at Consensus 2019, photo by Brady Dale for CoinDesk


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