The enterprise agency SOSV has employed former TechCrunch COO Ned Desmond to assist develop its startups – TechCrunch

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

Ned Desmond, a longtime publishing govt who spent greater than half a dozen years at Time Inc. earlier than turning 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 companion.

It’s seemingly an excellent match for each side.

SOSV — which is at the moment managing a $277 million flagship fund alongside some smaller autos — has turn into identified for its widespread accelerator applications, 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 into intuitive for Desmond, who amongst different issues, was closely concerned in organizing TechCrunch’s a number of occasions around the globe every year, together with its signature Battlefield competitions, which collectively characteristic dozens of nascent startups yearly.

Certainly, quickly after Desmond resigned from TechCrunch final summer time in the hunt for a brand new problem (and a few wanted downtime), O’Sullivan reached out to him, asking if he would possibly 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 might use the assistance greater than ever.

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

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

Nonetheless, SOSV is in the identical boat as many seed-stage funding companies. It’s working with a number of 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.

Whereas the buzzier, extra established firms have had no issues in fundraising — many are having to bat back overeager investors — newer, unproven groups with out established connections have discovered it more durable to land seed-stage and Collection A checks.

“It’s an excellent robust market,” says O’Sullivan. “Angels have fully dropped out. Seed investing is down massively.” Besides in life sciences, particularly within the U.S., says O’Sullivan, “it’s harder for each firm as a result of you may’t transfer fairly as quick.”

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

With Desmond’s work ethic, his connections and his expertise, O’ Sullivan thinks he can velocity it up. He’s additionally pretty clear-eyed concerning the coming months. “The inventory market is doing nice, however the economic system shouldn’t be doing properly, so there’s great uncertainty about what occurs subsequent.”

Whereas he’s “cautiously optimistic,” he provides, however like a rising quantity different buyers, he can also’t assist however surprise: “How lengthy can the get together proceed?”

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