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Startup accelerator closes $150m fund

Venture capital firm SOSV has closed its first fund open to external investors, SOSV III, at $150 million.

Venture capital firm SOSV has closed its first fund open to external investors, SOSV III, at $150 million.

There are 65 limited partners contributing to the fund, including the IFC of the World Bank, the Lemelson Foundation, The Russell Family Foundation and Austin Hearst, SOSV founder and managing director Sean O’Sullivan wrote in a blog post on the firm’s website.

O'Sullivan
O’Sullivan

SOSV is structured with eight GPs supported by its 70-plus staff. Prior to SOSV III, which began fundraising in 2015, SOSV’s accelerator model was powered completely on internal capital from O’Sullivan the team of GPs, he noted.

O’Sullivan explained that he believes SOSV, which was established in 1995 and now has $300 million in assets under management following this latest fundraise, “stepped into the big gap left” by venture capitalists in the last 10 years as their fund sizes grew larger while the typical VC model did not.

“There became a huge need, and hole, in the market, for investors who would fund the earlier-stage startups that need to get to the multi-million dollar run-rate that Series A investors now expect,” he wrote. “With the accelerator model… early stage companies can get huge amounts of intellectual property, knowledgeable guidance, and the seed capital that it takes to go from nowhere to somewhere.”

SOSV has made over 500 early-stage investments, with a net IRR of over 30 percent since its formation in 1995, according to a company statement. It targets hardware, life sciences, disruptive food, and China cross-border startups. Its portfolio companies include Clara Foods, Memphis Meats and Greenblender.