We Are SOSV
SOSV’s mission to support human and planetary health spans the globe with nearly 1000 startups operating in 60 countries and SOSV programs based from New York City and Newark, to San Francisco, Shenzhen, and Tokyo. Everywhere, we’re helping founders go further, faster.
SOSV is a global venture capital firm that offers multi-stage investment, starting with pre-seed startup development programs. SOSV’s core mission is to fund visionary deep tech founders who will have a profound impact on human and planetary health. As of September 2023, SOSV had $1.5 billion in assets under management.
SOSV is consistently ranked by Pitchbook as one of the most active investors in climate and health; in the case of climate, SOSV ranks as the #1 most active investor in climate tech since 2017.
Among the top companies in SOSV’s portfolio are NotCo, Upside Foods, Prellis, Avidbots, The EVERY company, Formlabs, Opentrons, Unspun, Smartex, R-Zero, Voltstorage, Prolific Machines, Mycoworks, Green Li-ion, Videoverse, Neptune Robotics, Novoloop, Ten63, and Perfect Day.
SOSV’s startup development programs are the hard tech-oriented HAX and life sciences-driven IndieBio. Both offer deep tech founders critical technical, product, and company-building expertise in addition to well equipped lab and fabrication facilities.
Each year, SOSV selects more than 100 highly promising seed and pre-seed startups to join its programs based in San Francisco, New York City, Newark, and Tokyo. SOSV makes an initial investment of up to $525,000, and the founders spend four-to-six months working side-by-side with the SOSV general partners as well as staff and mentors deeply expert in science and engineering, design and product development, supply chain and product-market fit.
The goal in each program is to help each startup prove out their value by getting increased scientific and marketplace traction, as well as greater clarity about the product’s value and positioning in solving urgent problems. Once that’s clear, fundraising progress becomes relatively easy, and seed and Series A rounds attract top venture investors.
SOSV often joins those later rounds and SOSV general partners continue working closely with the program alums for years post-program. In 2022, SOSV portfolio companies raised $2.0 billion in follow-on rounds, and SOSV participated in 161 of those rounds as well as more than 100 pre-seed rounds for startups that joined SOSV programs. According to Pitchbook, SOSV was the most active seed and angel investor in the world in 2020 and 2021, and third most active in 2022.
Starting in 2021, SOSV produces the annual SOSV Climate Tech Summit and VC-Founder Matchup, an online event featuring top climate founders and investors across the climate ecosystem. In its third year, 2023, there were more than 5,000 participants and 100 speakers.
SOSV Managing General 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 human and planetary health through entrepreneurship and technology, and he is actively involved with all the programs.
O’Sullivan has donated tens of millions in profits from his investments to charitable causes, including the Khan Academy and CoderDojo, as well as many other educational and humanitarian efforts. As a firm, SOSV commits 10% of SOSV profits (“SOSV carry”) to charity. He resides in Princeton, NJ.
Over the last 25 years, SOSV grew from just O’Sullivan to a firm with over 80 staff, including 9 General Partners.
Funds and Limited Partners
SOSV’s most recent core fund is the $277 million Fund IV, which closed in 2019. In 2021, SOSV also raised a $100 million Select Fund to support the expansion of follow-on investing in SOSV’s portfolio. SOSV also operates the Genesis Consortium, a partnership between IndieBio and leading VCs and industry partners, including co-founding partner Mayfield, that provides an additional $250,000 in funding certain life sciences startups in the programs.
SOSV’s limited partners include primarily include endowments, foundations, family offices, wealth management platforms, funds of funds and corporations, including Credit Suisse, Tiedemann Advisors, Davy 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 Korea, South and Southeast Asia.
The SOSV team is made up of a highly diverse group living in Asia, North America, and Europe. Our 9 general partners represent four nationalities, and our staff many more. That diversity is reflected in our global portfolio. SOSV’s 2600 founders represent 84 nationalities and operate in 56 countries. More than 70% of the founders are from outside the US, and 30% are from low- to middle-income countries, as defined by the World Bank. SOSV’s portfolio companies operate in 60 countries.
SOSV also has a long-standing strong track record of investing in female entrepreneurs. SOSV has invested in 500 women founders; at the end of 2020, 34% of SOSV portfolio company had at least one female founder. A 2017 TechCrunch / Crunchbase analysis showed that SOSV was one of only four seed funds with a female founder in at least 30% of the portfolio companies.
The SOSV Consortium consists of investment entities that originated at SOSV and in which SOSV is an anchor limited partner and remain closely aligned with SOSV.
The entities include Genesis Consortium, which is an investment vehicle for VCs and corporates to support early stage life science companies, dlab, which is a fund spun out of SOSV in 2023 focused on early stage investing in blockchain infrastructure, and Orbit Startups, a fund that also became independent of SOSV in 2023, to pursue investments in high growth startups in emerging and frontier markets.
SOSV Program Histories
SOSV general partner Cyril Ebersweiler launched HAX in Shenzhen in 2012 as a startup development program for pre-seed hard tech companies. HAX focuses on industrial automation, climate tech, health tech, and manufacturing. HAX provides $250,000 in pre-seed funding to companies joining the program.
In October 2021, SOSV and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that the state of New Jersey had approved $25 million for a five-year program to bring HAX to Newark, New Jersey.
HAX’s flagship office is in Newark; the program also has locations in Shenzhen, San Francisco and Tokyo. SOSV General Partners Duncan Turner and Ebersweiler oversee HAX with chief science officer Susan Schofer and HAX Partner Ji Ke.
SOSV general partners Po Bronson, Pae Wu and Mohan Iyer lead IndieBio San Francisco and general partner Stephen Chambers and chief scientific officer Sabriya Stukes lead IndieBio New York. IndieBio provides $250,000-$525,000 in pre-seed funding.
IndieBio is geared for scientists and others who want to “save lives and save the planet,” and the program supports companies working across many categories, including agriculture and food tech, materials, therapeutics, diagnostics and more.
The flagship San Francisco IndieBio location launched in 2014 and in late 2023 opened a new, expanded office in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. In 2020, SOSV launched Indiebio NY with $25 million in backing from the Partnership for New York City and New York state and in 2022 opened a new office, labs and event space.
SOSV Spans the Globe
Our offices in New York, Newark, San Francisco, Shenzhen, and Cork.
SOSV at a Glance
SOSV’s network of founders, mentors, co-investors, and programs spans the globe, and we’re committed to developing the widest possible startup ecosystem for human and planetary health.
The SOSV comms team is alway ready to help journalists seeking expert perspective connect with our general partners and the founders in our portfolio.
SOSV has hundreds of co-investors in portfolio companies and limited partners in our SOSV funds. Please reach out to learn more about both opportunities.
Ready to start a company? SOSV starts investing at pre-seed when companies join SOSV’s programs HAX and IndieBio. We continue investing post-program in series seed, A and beyond.
The companies in SOSV’s 1000+ startup portfolio have hundreds of job openings, and most of them are listed on SOSV’s job boards.
SOSV Program Alums
Visit the SOSV employee and founder portal to connect with the Founders’ Forum, update company information, review FAQ.