The venture firm SOSV has hired former TechCrunch COO Ned Desmond to help grow its startups

The venture firm SOSV has hired former TechCrunch COO Ned Desmond to help grow its startups

Ned Desmond, a longtime publishing govt who spent greater than half a dozen years at Time Inc. earlier than changing into the chief working officer of each TechCrunch and Engadget for greater than eight years, has joined the funding agency SOSV as a senior working accomplice.

It’s seemingly an excellent match for either side.

SOSV — which is at the moment managing a $277 million flagship fund alongside some smaller autos — has turn out to be recognized for its in style accelerator packages, together with Hax, a program centered round nascent {hardware} startups, and IndieBio, SOSV’s life sciences-focused accelerator.

In reality, the outfit, based by serial entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan in 1995, has now funded so many startups — roughly 1,000 of them — that it lately sought out Desmond to work with them, join them, shine a light-weight on their work and assist them increase follow-on funding.

It’s work that has turn out to be intuitive for Desmond, who amongst different issues was closely concerned in organizing TechCrunch’s a number of occasions around the globe annually, together with its signature Battlefield competitions, which collectively characteristic dozens of nascent startups yearly.

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Indeed, quickly after Desmond resigned from TechCrunch final summer season looking for a brand new problem (and a few wanted downtime), O’Sullivan reached out to him, asking if he may be a part of SOSV to assist with its advertising and gross sales efforts, in addition to to offer teaching and connections to its startups.

By O’Sullivan’s telling, SOSV may use the assistance greater than ever.

The outfit has had its share of successes. It was the lead investor within the electrical bike firm Jump Bikes, acquired by Uber in 2018 for an undisclosed quantity. It’s an early investor within the 3D printing firm FormLabs (valued at greater than $1 billion throughout its final spherical in 2018). It additionally wrote an early test to the peer-to-peer car-sharing firm GetAround, which was arduous hit by the pandemic however whose enterprise has since reportedly rebounded such that it was in a position to increase $140 million in Series E funding in October. (It has raised $600 million altogether.)

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Not final, SOSV is an investor within the lab-grown meat producer Memphis Meats, which raised $161 million in new funding at first up of the yr, led by SoftBank.

Still, SOSV is in the identical boat as many seed-stage funding companies. It’s working with numerous very new groups for whom the pandemic has been tough. According to Crunchbase, seed funding within the third quarter was down 32% yr over yr and down 11% quarter over quarter.

While the buzzier, extra established firms have had no issues in fundraising — many are having to bat again overeager buyers — newer, unproven groups with out established connections have discovered it tougher to land seed-stage and Series A checks.

“It’s an excellent powerful market,” says O’Sullivan. “Angels have fully dropped out. Seed investing is down massively.” Except in life sciences, particularly within the U.S.,” says O’Sullivan, “it’s more durable for each firm as a result of you’ll be able to’t transfer fairly as quick.”

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What of Zoom and associated discuss by VCs of the additional time they now have to fulfill with new startups? O’Sullivan suggests with amusing that there’s no scarcity of posturing within the business. “Everyone’s all the time doing ‘nice,’ ” he notes. “But I’m a Catholic man. I’ve to be sincere,” and there’s “nothing fairly like going to fulfill with an organization and dealing with them throughout the desk. When you’re working with them remotely, it’s only a slower course of.”

So lengthy, TechCrunch


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