SOSV’s Global Reach: A Look Inside the World’s #1 Early Stage Investor [Infographic]
With SOSV again topping the Q2 2017 Crunchbase table for Most Active Global Seed Investor (maintaining our top position from 2016), and Gust reporting this week that SOSV is the fourth largest and most prolific accelerator investor in the world, I thought it an apt time to do a little introspection on what it means to be a global accelerator VC.
In 2016, 83% of venture financing took place outside of the US, while US investments were down 11% in 2016 (seed rounds down 25%) (Crunchbase). China is now the second largest venture capital market globally (SVB). Of Gust’s top 10 seed accelerators by capital invested and number startups invested in, half identified as “worldwide investors”, with the remainders from the USA, Spain, Chile and several gulf countries. Guess what? VC is global.
Not earth shattering news, but for firms who are shifting or broadening their focus away from the Valley to secondary US markets, and internationally to China, Europe and beyond, I want to give some perspective on what it means to operate a truly global VC.
That’s what we do at SOSV: accelerate startups globally.
With 619 companies in our portfolio, and 179 new investments added in 2016, we are averaging 3.5 new startups each week…that’s one new company every other day. We completed 440 investment rounds last year across 8 accelerator programs located on 3 continents. Half of our investments are in non-US companies, our companies are registered in 33 different jurisdictions.
As a result, our 10-strong Ireland-based back office team in finance, legal, and operations has come to understand the ins-and-outs of maintaining subsidiaries in various local jurisdictions to avail of R&D credits and grants, complying with extra tax registration requirements in Spain and Portugal, accommodating French companies’ singular share classes, liaising with notaries required for German transactions, negotiating Sweden-specific investment agreements, managing language and structural barriers for later stage funding in Chinese companies, establishing multiple entities for Korean investments, and more.
But when all the paperwork, apostilling, and cross-timezone call coordinating is done at the end of the day, what makes us a truly global VC are our founders. With over 1,400 founders representing 72 countries of nationality — from Kazakhstan to Sierra Leone and New Zealand to Estonia — our portfolio is living proof that entrepreneurship thrives in all corners of the globe.
We have countless stories of founders moving around the world to pursue their passion: a software engineer who left his Iranian home to build a product in China and then moved to Dublin to scale it into a cutting edge leader in the AI space, Canadian and Kenyan co-founders who have set up a safer motorcycle sharing app in Rwanda, the UPenn engineers who are split between NYC and Shenzhen as they build and sell the world’s first desktop waterjet cutter, or the pair of Indian co-founders who are setting up Ireland’s first gene foundry and pioneers in DNA storage.
We support entrepreneurship wherever and however it thrives. Our founders build their companies without borders, and so we are building SOSV. Our 90 SOSV staff from 16 nationalities and working across six offices and five time zones may be only a small microcosm of our founder community, but we are fiercely proud to support a truly global startup ecosystem.
We will be following up with more blog posts and data breakdown on SOSV’s global reach, but for now, here’s a snapshot of what a global VC looks like:
Learn more about our portfolio companies at sosv.com/portfolio.
Originally published at sosv.com on August 2, 2017.