MOX 19 IN '19
“We are not unicorn hunting. We are alongside the founders.”
— William Bao Bean
Friends of MOX,
In 2019, our parent fund SOSV closed an oversubscribed fourth fund, bringing the total assets under management to US$700 million. Recognized as the world’s 2nd most active seed investor and 3rd most active early-stage investor in 2019 by Crunchbase, SOSV is backing more than 150 startups annually across our industry-leading accelerator programs HAX, IndieBio, Chinaccelerator, MOX, Food-X, and dlab.
The momentum is palpable in our Shanghai and Taipei offices: in 2019, Tech in Asia named SOSV a top 10 most active investor in Southeast Asia. Last year alone, portfolio companies in Chinaccelerator and MOX raised a total of US$96 million. Of the total investments we made in 2018, nearly 70% closed over US$500,000 and over half of them, 17 companies, bagged over US$1 million in 2019. One company got acquired, one listed on the stock exchange.
Here’s a look back at 2019, in 19 headlines.
1. SOSV raises US$277 million in oversubscribed fourth fund to invest in early-stage deep tech startups. SOSV invests over 10 million dollars annually in infrastructure — building out and running wet labs, electronic labs, and mechanical facilities, and offering on-site support teams of dozens of experts, engineers and PhDs.
2. Introducing MOX 7: 10 startups pioneering healthtech, education, fintech, social commerce, and entertainment spaces.
3. Introducing MOX 6: six startups headquartered in India, Thailand, Russia, the Netherlands and Singapore.
4. Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI fund, leads US$7M investment in English learning app ELSA (MOX 2)
5. Indonesian fintech company Achiko (MOX 5) lists on Swiss Exchange.
6. Tech in Asia names SOSV a top 10 most active investor in Southeast Asia
7. Former Quess Corp executives’ social experience discovery platform Woovly (MOX 7) raises US$2.5M pre-Series A funding
8. William Bao Bean on how startups in India can beat the customer acquisition trap. “Most VCs can do the math, if companies are spending a dollar to make 50 cents, they are not going to invest,” he asserts. However, MOX’s proprietary cross-border promotion program can help businesses lower customer acquisition cost and increase revenue.
9. Product search engine BigGo (MOX 3) raises US$5M in Series A. The startup is Uni-President’s (the owner of 7-Eleven in Taiwan) second investment in an internet company after backing Shopee’s parent Sea Group in 2017.
10. How social commerce startups such as CoutLoot (MOX 6) are changing e-tail in India
11. ClearDekho (MOX 5) becomes India’s first retail brand to raise funds from SOSV MOX. ClearDekho’s 40% MoM growth rate is fuelled by the massive demand for qualitative & affordable eyeglasses in tier 2 & tier 3 cities.
12. How P2P lending platform PinjamWinWin (MOX 7) achieves profitability without VC funding and is now quietly making its way to Indonesia’s top fintech scene.
13. Pixtory (MOX 3) got acquired by YourStory Media, India’s leading digital media platform for entrepreneurs. Pixtory Founder and CEO Karumbaiah BK has taken on the role of YourStory’s Chief Product Officer.
14. Building global-level startups in Taiwan: a talk with MOX’s William Bao Bean. William started investing in Taiwan in around 2008, when most entrepreneurs were hardware-oriented. In 2019, Taiwan’s productive programming talent is no longer a secret to the world. In fact, a number of MOX startups have set up their tech office in Taipei.
15. Playtoome (MOX 7) raises funds from SOSV to connect audience and artists. Playtoome takes care of the venue, the production, recording and live streaming for digital concerts.
16. Mobile-first healthcare platform Phable (MOX 7) raises funds from SOSV. Founded by serial entrepreneur Sumit Sinha, Phable offers a slew of services to patients, doctors and hospitals with its medical IoT platform.
17. WhatsCut Pro (MOX 7) reaches 1 million organic downloads, redefines video status messages for influencers and content creators.
18. William Bao Bean on why India is the number one focus market for SOSV: “In India, it’s no longer a two-dimensional chess game where you can see all the different players. In 2020, everyone is going to have to learn 3D chess. There are startups coming from below and then there are big guys coming from the top.”
19. Gobi Partners exec, serial entrepreneur, and MOX mentor Shannon Kalayanamitr shares her hard-won lessons at MOX Happy Hour. “Ask yourself: If your competitor puts US$100 million into your industry and dumps all the prices, what would you do then? Anticipate the future of your industry and make sure you’re defensible against whatever is coming.”