SOSV Closes First $218 Million of $250 Million for Early-Stage Deep Tech Startups

Photo: A group of SOSV staff, LPs, and partners got together in Sanya last December.

(SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, 2019) — SOSV has closed $218 million in an early partial closing of its $250 million SOSV IV fund. The SOSV IV fund is 60% larger than the $150M SOSV III (2015), which already has achieved a Net IRR of 26%. SOSV is ranked annually as one of the most active investors globally, backing deep-tech startups in hardware, life sciences, and software globally.

With SOSV IV, the firm plans to invest in approximately 150 new startups every year across the programs of HAX (hardware), IndieBio and RebelBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator and MOX (cross-border internet and mobile), Food-X (food), and dLab (blockchain). The accelerator and studio programs are dedicated to portfolio sourcing, creation and support, while the majority of the fund is deployed in follow-on investment in the same startups that come through the SOSV programs.

The limited partner commitments for SOSV IV come from a global base of family offices, corporate multinationals, endowments, foundations, funds of funds, and private wealth platforms/advisors.

Hands-On Investment

SOSV pioneered a ‘hands-on’ investment model combining a seed fund with extensive pre-seed resources, including its electronics/manufacturing and biotech labs and staff experts.

“Over the past 7 years, it has become apparent that applying the funding models of the software revolution to hardware, life sciences, and the global food supply is a winning bet,” said Sean O’Sullivan, Founder and Managing Partner of SOSV. “The next 20 years will see the benefit of applying deep-tech accelerators to real-world, physical products, resulting in dozens of new industries. SOSV runs the first and leading accelerators in the fields of robotics, medical devices, and molecular and cellular approaches to the world’s biggest challenges.”

SOSV runs programs in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Its hardware-enabled portfolio includes high-profile companies FormLabs (3d printing), GetAround (car sharing), as well as fast-growing robotics and medtech startups such as Avidbots (commercial cleaning robots) and Makeblock (STEM robots). SOSV also was the lead seed investor in JUMP Bikes, recently acquired by Uber.

SOSV is considered a pioneer in ‘clean food’ and cellular agriculture with investments in Memphis Meats (clean meat), NotCo (plant-based mayonnaise) Geltor (animal-free collagen), Clara Foods (egg proteins), Perfect Day (milk products), and Abbot’s Butcher (plant-based meat). Besides this, SOSV has backed many promising early breakthrough startups in cancer therapeutics, autism, agriculture, and more.

In the blockchain and cross-border areas, SOSV is the only institutional investor in BitMEX (Top 3 cryptocurrency trading platform by reported volume globally), and seed investor in the A.I. language startup Elsa (Google’s A.I. fund first investment in Asia).

About SOSV

SOSV currently has over $625 million under management and a portfolio of over 800 startups. The managing partner, Sean O’Sullivan, created the firm in 1995 after the IPO of MapInfo, the startup he co-founded that pioneered street mapping on computers. In 2010, SOSV opened Chinaccelerator, its first accelerator program, and was the first mover in accelerators for both hardware and life sciences. Today, the firm has over 110 employees across seven accelerators and startup studios located in the US, Europe, and Asia.

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