SOSV raises $100m fund, backs Indo-Irish start-up CyGenica

VC firm founded by former Dragons’ Den star has backed over 20 Irish companies

SOSV, the venture capital (VC) firm originally founded in Cork as a personal investment fund for tech veteran Sean O'Sullivan, has raised $100 million (€82.5 million) and backed Indo-Irish start-up, CyGenica.

Unlike its other funds, which typically invest in start-ups at an early stage, the new $100 million fund is focused on later-stage companies. SOSV typically invests an initial $100,000-$250,000 in each start-up it backs via its accelerators, and provides $200,000-$2 million in follow-on funding in subsequent rounds for companies as they scale.

The new fund will provide investment of up to $10 million for companies it has previously backed.

"It's for Series B and C rounds [and] we're planning on deploying it to the best of the bunch across the next three years," Mr O'Sullivan told The Irish Times. "I sure hope that we get to deploy some of it in Ireland.


“We’ve got over 20 start-ups in Ireland so it’s in their hands to get to that kind of traction,” he added.

The VC has been ranked as one of the largest and most prolific accelerator investors in the world. It employs more than 100 staff across nine locations globally, with a small number based in Cork.

It has funded more than 1,000 start-ups to date and currently invests between $50 million and $70 million a year in more than 150 early-stage companies via its various accelerators. These programmes cover areas including hardware, software biology, food, robotics, medical devices, transportation and green energy.

The latest company to receive backing is CyGenica, which has just raised $1.4 million to accelerate validation of a proprietary technology that enables safe, targeted and affordable intercellular drug delivery. The Indo-Irish company is dual-headquartered in Pune and Cork.

Mr O'Sullivan, who previously appeared in the Irish version of TV series Dragons' Den, created SOSV in 1995 after MapInfo, a company he co-founded that pioneered street mapping on computers, went public. An early backer of other tech firms such as Netflix, he is also credited with co-creating the term "cloud computing".

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist