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IndustryVenture Capital and Private equity
FounderSean O'Sullivan
Number of locations
Offices in Ireland, United States and China
Area served
Number of employees

SOSV is a venture capital and investment management firm that provides seed, venture and growth stage funding to startup companies in the technology sector.[1] The company's focus is on accelerating startups via their market specific seed accelerator programs located in Europe, Asia and the USA.[2] The firm is made up of 7 investment partners, 45+ full-time support staff and hundreds of mentors. SOSV is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, with back office operations based in Cork, Ireland, and flagship offices in San Francisco, Shenzhen, Shanghai and New York.


SOSV (formerly SOS Ventures) was founded in 1995 by Sean O'Sullivan,[3]. As of June 2017, the firm had funded over 680 startups, and continues to fund over 150 startups per year. In 2017 it became the world's third most active seed fund[4].


SOSV invests in the areas of Hardware, Software, Consumer Services and Life Sciences markets. Portfolio companies include:[5] Harmonix, developers of the Guitar Hero series, Carma,[6] Netflix,[7] Leap Motion,[8] Pembient[9], Kindara,[10] Storyful,[11] Muufri,[12] Breather,[13] MavenHut,[14] Spark[15] (now Particle[16]) and GIROPTIC.[17]


SOSV runs six seed accelerator programs: Chinaccelerator,[18] MOX,[19] HAX Accelerator, HAX Boost,[20] IndieBio[21] and FOOD-X.[22] The programs focus on[23] startup development in the areas of hardware, software, biotechnology and food business.[22]

  • Chinaccelerator (Shanghai) - it is a seed-funding program in China that allows entrepreneurs to create startup companies in the tech industry.
  • MOX (mobile-only accelerator, Taipei) - startups in the program receive $500,000 to fine-tune their mobile platforms, services and apps.[19]
  • HAX Accelerator (formerly Haxlr8r, Shenzhen and San Francisco) - Hardware at seed and growth stage.
  • IndieBio (San Francisco) - Life sciences.[24]
  • RebelBio (Cork, Ireland) - Life sciences.
  • Food-X (New York) - Focused on "innovations in restoring mankind's relationship to food in nature and to cooking".

Social Entrepreneurship[edit]

SOSV has taken an interest in furthering innovation in Education and Computing.

The Khan Academy[edit]

The O'Sullivan Foundation supports the Khan Academy,[25] the not-for-profit online learning platform whose goal is to change education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. The Khan Academy is the brainchild of Salman Khan,[26] who brought the idea of educating young people, self-starters & people who learn at their own pace — online. The educational startup now counts over 2,600 videos in its library, with sessions or classes on everything from arithmetic to physics, including 211 practice exercises, to let students watch videos and learn at their leisure.


SOSV supports CoderDojo, a global network of clubs that teach young people in areas specializing in computer programming and computer technology. There are now dojos in 22 countries,[27][28] teaching 10,000 children to write computer code and programs each week.[29] Youth learn from one another about computer languages and tools including Xcode and CSS.[30] Founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao, a partner at SOSV, in 2011 as a not-for-profit organisation. The first dojo was held in the NSC (National Software Centre), Mahon, Cork on Saturday 23rd 2011. By February 2012, there were 12 dojos around Ireland and September 2012 saw the first CoderDojo open in Silicon Valley. At this point there are over 16,000 children worldwide are learning to code every Saturday.[31]

LearnStorm (formerly MATHletes)[edit]

The Sean O’Sullivan Foundation supports LearnStorm, formerly MATHletes,[32] an online math game competition for kids in Ireland. It was founded in 2014 by Sean O’Sullivan and The Khan Academy.[33]


  • Sean O'Sullivan - Global: Software, Hardware, Software, Information technology
  • Cyril Ebersweiler - Asia/USA - HAX, hardware, software
  • Duncan Turner - HAX, hardware[34]
  • Bill Liao - Europe - RebelBio, Internet, Social media
  • Arvind Gupta -USA - IndieBio
  • William Bao Bean - Global: MOX and Chinaccelerator [35] Internet


  1. ^ Devitt, Niall. "Bill Liao of SOSventures Discusses Exit Strategies & the Value of Brand Story at #nsclunchnlearn". Bizsugar. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  2. ^ Donnelly, Ann. "Startup Accelerator Programs: What's in it for a startup? What's in it for investors?". O'Mahony Donnelly. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. ^ Collins, Dylan. "Founder Interviews: Sean O'Sullivan (SOSventures Avego)". Business Insider. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kennedy, John. "SOSventures invests €500,000 in social gaming start-up Mavenhut". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ Caynard, Micheline. "San Francisco's BART Strike Ends, Ride-Sharing Raises Its Profile". Forbes. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ de Jonge, Ruud. "Cloud computing brings job-hunting into the 21st century". Microsoft. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  8. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia. "OcuSpec Raises 1.3M From Andreessen And Others To Build An "Affordable Kinect"". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  9. ^ Buhr, Sarah. "Biotech Startup Pembient Is Making Rhino Horns, Sans Rhino". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  10. ^ "Fertility-Focused Kindara Lands $5.3M Seed Round | Xconomy". Xconomy. 2015-08-19. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  11. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "News Corp Pays $25M For Storyful, Which Digs Up And Verifies News From Social Sites Like Twitter And Instagram". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  12. ^ "Y Combinator, Move Over For IndieBio: A Second Biotech Accelerator | Xconomy". Xconomy. 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  13. ^ Olanoff, Drew (September 17, 2015). "Breather Raises $20M From Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures To Expand Its On-Demand Private Room Business".
  14. ^ Kennedy, John (November 16, 2012). "SOSventures invests €500,000 in social gaming start-up Mavenhut". Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  15. ^ Crook, Jordan (July 8, 2014). "Spark Labs Raises $4.9 Million For An Internet Of Things OS". Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  16. ^ Biggs, John (May 14, 2015). " Is Now Because There Were Too Many Sparks". Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  17. ^ Hurst, Samantha (December 15, 2015). "Kickstarter Alum GIROPTIC Captures $4.5M During Seed Funding Round to Bring 360Cam to the Market". Crowdfund Insider. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "How WeChat Can Slash Marketing Costs In China: Chinaccelerator Demo Day". TechNode. 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  19. ^ a b Leung, Hannah (December 16, 2015). "Mobile-only accelerator MOX launches in Taiwan". e27. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  20. ^ Leung, Hannah (December 14, 2015). "William Bao Bean steams up the startup scene". e27. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  21. ^ "This Robot Could Make Creating New Life Forms As Easy As Coding An App". WIRED. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  22. ^ a b "A Venture Firm Looking For The Next Generation Of Food Businesses in 2015". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  23. ^ "Startup Grind Shenzhen Hosts Cyril Ebersweiler (AXLR8R Network, SOSventures)". Meetup. Retrieved 23 September 2013. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  24. ^ Gewin, Virginia (2013). "Biotechnology: Independent streak". Nature. 499 (7459): 509–511. doi:10.1038/nj7459-509a.
  25. ^ Rao, Leena. "The O'Sullivan Foundation Grants $5M To Online Learning Platform Khan Academy". Techcrunch. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  26. ^ Adams, Richard (2013-04-23). "Sal Khan: the man who tutored his cousin – and started a revolution". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  27. ^ Post Reporter (18 December 2012). "Collisons make Forbes list of "30 under 30"". Sunday Business Post.
  28. ^ Ciara O'Brien (Dec 22, 2012). "In praise of 'The Forbes Four'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  29. ^ Kim Bielenberg: Recession was no barrier to the young Irish innovators
  30. ^ Kennedy, John. "Bill Liao and James Whelton to unleash Coder Dojos on schools". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  31. ^ Kennedy, John. "CoderDojo kids compete in Microsoft's US$100,000 AzureDevs competition". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  32. ^ Gorey, Colm (December 10, 2015). "Silicon Republic". Silicon Republic. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  33. ^ Gorey, Colm (December 10, 2015). "With a new name for 2016, MATHletes opens for registration". Silicon Republic. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  34. ^ "SOSventures". Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  35. ^

External links[edit]