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Madrona Venture Group Announces Two New Investment Professionals

Madrona Venture Group, an early-stage venture capital firm, announced today two new additions to the team. Maria Karaivanova is joining Madrona as a Principal focused on sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities, working with portfolio companies to explore and evaluate business strategies and developing investment themes for the firm. Alice Ryder is joining as Director of Investor Relations and Business Development and will work with Madrona’s investors, as well as continue to develop Madrona’s program for connecting C-level executives with portfolio companies for partnerships, customer relationships and advisory roles. Each brings a deep background of business, technology and finance experience to the firm, and has helped rapidly scale very successful businesses like Cloudflare, King Digital and Clearwire.

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Maria Karaivanova, Principal, Madrona Venture Group (Photo: Business Wire)

Maria Karaivanova, Principal, Madrona Venture Group (Photo: Business Wire)

“Both Maria and Alice embody what we look for at Madrona, experts in their field who have a passion for working effectively with entrepreneurs and innovative ideas,” said Tim Porter, managing director, Madrona. “While they have been on board just a short time, each of them has already made meaningful contributions, and we are looking forward to working together in the coming years.”

Maria has nearly a decade of deep technology experience, garnered through roles at some of the world’s leading technology companies, including Cloudflare, Intel and Boeing. Maria comes to Madrona after five years as head of business development and an executive team member at Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based web performance and security company, where she helped build the company from 25 employees to unicorn status.

While at Cloudflare, Maria built a global ecosystem of over five thousand partners and launched strategic partnerships with Google, Rackspace and other leading cloud platforms, delivering significant revenue and distribution. Prior to Cloudflare, Maria was an investor at Intel Capital with a focus on enterprise technologies and cloud security. She was also part of the Intel-McAfee strategic engagement team helping to integrate security into firmware. Before that, Maria held various positions at Boeing specializing in intellectual property management and international business development for the Chinook, Apache and F-15 programs, and unmanned aircraft. She started her career as an analyst at Citibank.

“Seattle has emerged as the cloud capital of the world and Madrona Venture Group is at the core of its innovation fabric,” commented Maria. “I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside the Madrona team to bring innovative ideas to life across the Pacific Northwest and to support the remarkable entrepreneurs across our portfolio.”

Maria has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSBA in Finance with high honors from Saint Louis University. She is a frequent speaker at technology conferences and an occasional angel investor. Maria lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

As Director of Investor Relations, Alice Ryder will work with Madrona’s limited partners who have invested nearly $1.3 billion into funds that are more than 85% invested in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, she will help foster business development by continuing to build out the C-suite program that connects CIOs, CTOs and CEOs with Madrona portfolio companies. Through this program over the past two years, portfolio companies have engaged new customers and made valuable partnerships with national brand name companies. Alice comes to this role with a strong background in finance and partnerships, built over 10 years in companies representing a diverse set of businesses in the technology industry.

Alice was most recently VP of Investor Relations at King Digital Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush and other successful mobile games, where she helped ready the company for its IPO and worked closely with King’s global investor base through its public life, which culminated in a $5.9 billion sale to Activision Blizzard. Prior to King she was VP of Investor Relations for Clearwire. She has also held similar roles at Expedia and Nextel Partners. Alice began her work in technology investing as a banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

“I’m excited to dive into the world of venture investing which is so important to the continuing growth of the technology industry,” said Alice. “The Pacific NW is full of engineering, entrepreneurial and business talent from wireless to software to infrastructure, and Madrona is at the center of it all. I’m looking forward to working with the team to help create new opportunities for growth in the area.”

Alice holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

About Madrona Venture Group

Madrona (www.madrona.com) has been investing in early-stage technology companies in the Pacific Northwest since 1995 and has been privileged to play a role in some of the region’s most successful technology ventures. The firm invests predominately in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum, including consumer Internet, commercial software and services, digital media and advertising, networking and cloud computing, and mobile. Madrona manages approximately $1 billion and was an early investor in companies such as Amazon.com, Apptio, Rover.com, and Redfin.

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