SOSV, the global venture firm, just closed a $100 million fund to back its maturing startups – TechCrunch


Sean O’Sullivan, the founding father of the worldwide enterprise outfit SOSV, has slowly however steadily constructed up a large operation over time.

SOSV began off as a household workplace, investing the capital of O’Sullivan after he cofounded two corporations, together with MapInfo, an outfit that went public in 1994 earlier than Pitney Bowes it years later, in 2007. The seed-stage investing outfit went on to lift three extra funds, together with a $277 million early-stage fund that it closed in 2019 and is actively investing from proper now.

Now, to enrich these funds, the group has raised $100 million for what it’s calling a Choose Fund, a automobile meant to assist SOSV preserve its professional rata stake in a few of its breakaway portfolio corporations.

Due to different instruments available in the market, SOSV wasn’t fully hamstrung till now. As an alternative, SOSV has, once in a while, assembled a particular objective automobile to re-invest in sure of the startups it has backed. However O’Sullivan says these have been comparatively small SPVs — assume $2 million in dimension or much less. The brand new fund, he says, is predicted to put in writing checks of between $2 million and $5 million and even as much as $10 million — or 10% of the fund, per SOSV’s settlement with its traders.

Definitely, the brand new fund additionally provides startups much more motive to work with SOSV, which tends to put in writing its seed checks to first-time founders, who O’Sullivan observes are sometimes ignored — wrongly —  by traders in favor of repeat founders.

He factors to Apple, Microsoft, Fb, Google and Alibaba, noting that panorama would look relatively totally different with out them. He says skilled the phenomenon himself when he cofounded an organization (NetCentric) after MapInfo. “Folks have been simply lining as much as make investments,” he says. “It was really easy to lift the funds with out something aside from a marketing strategy, and as of late, you don’t even want a type of.”

That doesn’t imply SOSV will get as massive a chew as it’d like in each deal. Although SOSV has loved success by betting on new entrepreneurs — it was among the many first traders in FormLabs, for instance, an organization now valued at $2 billion; it additionally backed JUMP, the bike-share startup that Uber acquired in 2018 — a $100 million fund is small by present requirements. SOSV may properly discover itself competing towards gamers which have billions of {dollars} to deploy and that are writing larger checks to youthful corporations, sooner than ever. 

It’s not an absurd concern, agrees O’Sullivan. He says he noticed some sharp elbows simply this week, in reality. A part of a $100 million-plus spherical was coming collectively, and a agency that O’Sullivan declined to say didn’t wish to make room for the startup’s Sequence B or A traders as a result of it wished to satisfy a sure fairness threshold.

O’Sullivan says the sooner traders acquiesced. (“They’re giving us a multi-billion valuation” and likewise “making an attempt to purchase secondaries from present traders,” he explains, whereas including that SOSV would usually desire to carry its shares by an IPO.)

Nonetheless, he suggests there’s no want to fret about SOSV. Whereas the sooner traders went with the move, O’Sullivan says that in “most circumstances, there’s sufficient to go round for the earlier traders.” He additionally calls it “good protocol for the late-stage traders [to make room] in the event that they wish to proceed to have us introducing offers to them.”

Put one other method, smaller fund or not, SOSV has a type of leverage, too.



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