SOSV is a global venture capital firm that operates early stage startup development programs which are focused on two broad areas: revolutionary technology that promises the betterment of humanity and the planet; and cross-border markets that are ripe for explosive growth.
The firm invests in a number of highly promising startups and uses its
programs to advance product development, acquire customers, and scale. SOSV companies consistently achieve funding led by top tier investors. SOSV joins seed, series A, and later rounds.
As of January 2022, SOSV had more than 1,000 portfolio companies and $1.2 billion in assets under management, reflecting a 40% increase over 2020. Among the top companies in SOSV’s portfolio are NotCo, Perfect Day, Upside Foods, Yeelight, Opentrons, Shopal, Snapask, BitMEX, and API3.
SOSV’s programs include hard tech-oriented HAX and life-science driven IndieBio. Both offer deep technical and regulatory expertise on-site as well as well-equipped lab and fabrication facilities. At Chinaccelerator and MOX, market-entry and product development experts help entrepreneurs win cross-border market opportunities across Asia. SOSV’s latest program, dlab, fosters new players in blockchain.
SOSV programs review applications from all over the world, and any pre-seed or seed-stage company is welcome to apply. SOSV provides $150,000 - $250,000 in exchange for equity, but certain biotech startups may receive as much as an additional $250,000 or more from the Genesis Consortium, a partnership between IndieBio and leading VCs and industry partners, including co-founding partner Mayfield.
Founders spend 4-6 months in a formative cohort experience marked by coaching from on-staff experts (including alums), regular workshops led by mentors and guests, and access to technical resources, including engineers, labs, and other facilities.
After a program’s completion, the SOSV partners continue working closely with founders to bring on lead investors for follow-on investment. Unlike most startup programs, SOSV continues to invest as a major syndicate participant—up to 20% of new rounds—in subsequent seed, series A, and later investments. In 2020, SOSV invested $46 million in post-program rounds; in total, SOSV portfolio companies in 2020 raised $1 billion. In June 2021, SOSV announced the close of the $100 million SOSV Select Fund, which is designed to invest in the series B and later rounds of its portfolio companies.
In addition to funding, SOSV continues to support founders and their startups long after their programs are complete. SOSV provides expert legal resources, sales and customer development, and mentorship resources across many disciplines. Founders are also encouraged to tap the 2,000+ SOSV founder network.
Managing Partner Sean O’Sullivan founded SOSV in 1995, following the IPO of MapInfo, a startup he co-founded that pioneered computer-based street mapping. O’Sullivan is deeply committed to social betterment through entrepreneurship and technology, a theme that runs deeply through the SOSV portfolio. He has donated tens of millions in SOSV profits to charitable causes, including the Khan Academy and CoderDojo, as well as many other educational and humanitarian efforts. SOSV commits 10% of its carry to philanthropy.
In 2021, SOSV highlighted its long standing commitment to climate tech with the publication of it’s top 100 climate companies and by hosting the SOSV Climate Summit, an ecosystem-wide event.
SOSV is also committed to creating a portfolio rich in founder diversity. In a 2017 TechCrunch / Crunchbase analysis, SOSV was one of only four seed funds with a female founder in 30% or more of portfolio companies. At the end of 2020, 34% of SOSV’s portfolio companies had at least one female founder.
SOSV’s limited partners include corporates, financial institutions, family offices, and high-net worth individuals from around the world, including Credit Suisse, Tiedemann Advisors, Davy Group, Nan Fung Group, ZX Ventures (the strategic arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev), HP Ventures, and Sumitomo Corp. In SOSV’s Fund IV ($277 million), 50% of the limited partners are located in North America, 25% in Europe, and 20% in Japan and Southeast Asia.
SOSV has eight general partners and 132 staff across 9 locations around the world.
SOSV general partners Cyril Ebersweiler and Duncan Turner operate HAX, which Ebersweiler launched in 2012 and has offices in Shenzhen, San Francisco, and Tokyo. In October 2021, SOSV and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced they will partner in a five-year, $50 million project to build a new, state-of-the-art facility for HAX in Newark, New Jersey, headed by SOSV HAX Partner Garrett Winther. That program will focus on early stage startups in manufacturing, healthcare, and climate tech.
HAX invests in approximately 35 startups per year, initially with $250,000, delivered in cash and co-development during a 180-day program. HAX’s overall focus is on industry 4.0, decarbonization, healthcare, and consumer. HAX founders have access to an in-house team of engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs with in-depth collective knowledge in robotics, IoT, and manufacturing. HAX provides access to mentors, investors, manufacturers, supply chains, and follow-on capital.
General partner Po Bronson leads IndieBio San Francisco and partner Stephen Chambers leads IndieBio New York. IndieBio co-founders Bill Liao and Arvind Gupta launched the flagship San Francisco location in 2014 and opened a second office in NYC in 2020, with the backing of the Partnership for New York City and New York state. Pre-seed life-science startups receive a $250,000 investment (up to $500,000 or more with Genesis Consortium support) and join a four-month program that provides on-site expertise, access to modern laboratories, and an unparalleled mentor network. The San Francisco and New York programs each run two, 15-company classes each per year. In October 2021, SOSV announced that Seven Penn Plaza would be the new, permanent home for IndieBio New York City.
General partner William Bao Bean and partner Oscar Ramos lead Cross Border Internet and Software at SOSV including Chinaccelerator, founded in 2010 by general partner Cyril Ebersweiler, and MOX, founded in 2015, with teams in Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, and New Delhi. Chinaccelerator helps enterprise software startups from around the world enter Asia selling to a network of over 200 multinational corporate partners and helps global startups enter China and local Chinese startups expand to global markets. The program provides US$150,000 investment and is a perpetual hands-on program, which includes free advertising for consumer Internet apps and services, sales leads for leading corporates, plus perks and advice from our 500+ person mentor network.
MOX helps mobile Internet startups from around the world acquire new users for free and monetize those users to drive higher lifetime value. The network of MOX startups, with 102 million monthly active users, cross-promote each other and receive free promotion from our network of partners in return for revenue share. MOX helps startups expand into the world’s fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, South America, and Eastern Europe. MOX provides $150,000 investment, a six month program and perpetual support through growth, a business development roadshow, and fundraising modules.
General partner Shawn Broderick and partner Nick Plante founded dlab in 2018 to help startups working on decentralized applications and blockchain technology to create more open, transparent, and participatory systems. dlab provides $150,000 of funding to the most promising, early stage crypto startups. The six-month program provides founders with access to an extensive mentor network and with hands-on help in areas such as product architecture and design, UI/UX, business development, tokenomics, and fundraising strategies. dlab is based in New York City but works with founders from across the globe in a virtual setting. Industries:
Food and Beverage
Program duration in weeks: 16
Early Stage Venture
Location: Princeton, New Jersey, United States