Class 15
San Francisco – Batch 15

We have a slew of experienced founders in this batch, industry veterans from commercializing the world’s most used pet health products, to commercializing whey proteins at a million-ton scale. This batch started February 5th, 2024, and will be holding informal “Demo Days” June 17-20th. Contact Westley Dang to come in person, or register here for online demo day materials.

“Despite amazing achievements of DNA sequencing technology over the last 20 years, the data is only affordable at scale in large complex facilities. Rethinking silicon-based detection and enzyme-based sequencing chemistry is key to wider adoption.”
Stream Genomics has raised $525,000 from SOSV's IndieBio and the Genesis Consortium.
Sequencing as fast as streaming video
The last 20 years of DNA and RNA sequencing technologies has been incremental. You can plot the cost performance on a trendline that hasn't diverged.

Why we invested:

At a small networking event, the founders said softly to us: “we are working on a technology that can completely upend the entire sequencing industry.” We leaned in to listen; after all, the founders have been working the front lines during every major pivotal point in sequencing history: Illumina’s acquisition of Solexa in 2001, the introduction of HiSeq (2010) and Novaseq (2017) which redefined the meaning of “high-throughput,” and when Ultima’s UG100 unshackled us from flow cells. Stream goes further, to untie us from library preps, from amplification, and from the massive computational overhead of imaging-based sequencing.

Their technology leverages a proprietary method that can monitor chemical incorporations in real time, leading to 1000-fold reduction in compute, and up to 100-fold increase in speed than the technologies we have today. The best part: the sequencer itself is an order of magnitude cheaper, which solves the switching cost for customers. The engineer, scientist, and commercialization leaders on the executive team have a combined 60+ years of experience at major competitors, including Illumina, PacBio, and Ultima. We believe that SPEED will unlock and expand markets like what Netflix did to Blockbuster, what PCs did to supercomputers, what Amazon 2-day delivery did to retail, and this is the team to execute it.

Sasha Milshteyn, PhD, CEO
“Copper is the lifeblood of the energy transition. We harness the power of native microbes to sustainably extract more out of the existing resources.”
Transition Bio has raised $275,000 from SOSV's IndieBio.
Faster copper extraction from heap leaching of waste ore -- using microbes.
Some Tesla models use up to 82 kg of copper, up to a mile of copper just to connect all the battery to all the electronics.

Why we invested:

In the $220B copper mining industry, “heap leaching” of waste rock with low concentrations of ore has become a standard practice. Heap leaching works in two ways: 1) sulfuric acid is sprayed on top to trickle through the heaps, and 2) natural microbes in the heaps also help dissolve the copper mineral into solution. It’s been widely noted that the microbes can speed up leaching by up to 2x, but nobody knows why or how this happens – or how to consistently recreate it.

Transition Biomining is building a platform to control the microbes in heaps, and deliver faster leaching every time. The economic value of improving leaching is enormous – a mere 5% boost can be worth $100 million per mine annually.

"Our genome makes RNA molecules that current sequencing technologies cannot detect. These molecules encode undiscovered human proteins (the dark proteome), providing an untapped source of disease-specific protein targets that will become foundational to the future of precision medicine"
Rybodyn has raised $525,000 from SOSV's IndieBio and the Genesis Consortium.
Unlocking the dark proteome for targeted therapeutics
The entire immuno-oncology field is orbiting around the same 30 targets and are hungry for new ones

Why we invested:

The biggest risk in cancer immunotherapy is the safety: the cancer targets (i.e., neoantigens) are not differentiated enough from healthy cells, and can therefore lead to the immune system attacking the patient’s. When we met Dr. Corey Dambacher (the founder of Rybodyn), he said he has been sitting on a treasure trove of never-before-seen proteins that others have missed because they figured out how to interpret the proteomics data in a way that others cannot (aka probing the “dark proteome”). Among this treasure trove of novel proteins are peptides that are found ONLY on cancer cells, and not on healthy cells. 

The opportunity we saw here was that Rybodyn’s huge library of neoantigens differentiate on another order of magnitude: While others target the small mutations that differentiate cancer cells, Rybodyn has found entire peptides that differentiate them. Higher specificity means better safety profile, and better efficacy. These are NOT computational predictions; these peptides have been confirmed by mass spectrometry. Rybodyn has been flying under the radar since 2018, secretly amassing over 1200 confirmed novel cancer-specific peptides (to date), and is raising antibodies against these targets now. What led us to invest in Rybodyn is the platform’s enormous reach into new cancer-specific biologics like antibodies, ADCs, cell therapies, and other indications like autoimmunity. 

Bruno Jactel, DVM, CEO
"Our food chain is increasingly at risk of contamination by microbes. At Hypercell, we make the fastest and most accurate tests to help food processors take early action. For immediate results: protecting consumers’ health and reducing producers’ losses."
Hypercell Technologies has raised $1,500,000 from SOSV's IndieBio, the Genesis Consortium, and others.
Building the new paradigm in food chain testing.
A single food processor shutting down their plant is $1.1 million dollars of lost revenue per hour

Why we invested:

The world’s biggest meat, produce, and animal health companies take vast sums of money and light it on fire on a recurring basis. They don’t want to do this, but due to consistent shortcoming in pathogen detection no one has managed to avoid the steady recurrence of recall and herd losses. It is shocking that no major life sciences company has delivered a solution to this industry that wants rapid turnaround time, ease of use, and sensitivity. This is despite the prospect of huge customers, high frequency product use, long term stickiness, and willingness to pay: A single food processor who makes $5 million in revenue per day will spend $125 million a year on testing alone. This is not including the revenue losses when they have to shut down the plant to figure out where a pathogen got through their defenses.

We’ve done diligence on a ton of teams and approaches over the years and believe Hypercell checks all the boxes to drive industry-wide adoption. Their CEO (Bruno) is an industry vet, both as the builder of a billion dollar-plus animal health division and an expert in veterinary medicine. When we first met Bruno he had already been on site at several plants to dive deeply into the real problems that plague this industry, and was developing a product that solves all those needs. Their technology provides results in minutes instead of hours or days in real world settings, and is easy enough for anyone to use (even scores of MBAs). Hypercell currently has six-figure partnerships and LOIs from Cargill, JBS, FPL, and others, with even more finalizing now. 

“Everybody deserves natural, delicious, safe nutrition at an everyday price. Using non-extractive, efficient technology, we are making Nutrition from Water available for everybody.”
NXW has raised $2,900,000 from SOSV's IndieBio, Katapult VC, Outset Ventures, and others.
Natural nutrition from pristine waters.
Marine Whey has 6x fewer emissions and 5.5x less land use than dairy protein.

Why we invested:

For us to invest in alt proteins in 2024 requires that we see a team and product that are laser focused on solving a deeply felt commercial problem at previously unheard of speed. Since our first meeting, the NXW founders–themselves food industry veterans–have shown their ability to move fast while building trust with not just one, but a coalition of the biggest dairy and nutrition leaders across 6 continents.

They’re quickly creating a global footprint for their Marine Whey product line that drops-in and expands multiple huge core categories for  their business partners. NXW will be one of the fastest companies to get to industrial scale production in the sector, and create affordable, premium-quality, great tasting products while remaining lean and capex-light. 

Greg Cooper, PhD, CEO
"As soon as the OEMs can test our pouch cells, they'll know that nothing else comes close to our performance."
Aqualith has raised $2,100,000 from SOSV's IndieBio, TedCo, The Chesapeake Fund, and others.
Unleashing the full potential of silicon anodes on passenger EVs.
40% of an electric vehicle cost is the battery. 70% of that battery is the material cost

Why we invested:

The message from the market is crystal clear: electric vehicles need to be cheaper. Since up to 40% of an electric vehicle is the battery, and in turn 70% of the cost of the battery is in materials, it’s an imperative for the industry to develop cheaper and higher performing materials. Silicon anodes are widely considered the future – ​​they can store far more energy than graphite – but they swell 300% when loading, leading to cracking and rapid degradation. 

Aqualith has solved this problem, with a silicon alloy that only swells 10% – less than graphite swell. Aqualith already has produced dozens of full pouch cells and in six months will deliver samples exceeding 300 cycle life to EV and battery partners. They are 12-16 months from an “A cell” qualification and less than 36 months from commercial production with OEMs / Tier 1s. In addition to their anode materials, Aqualith also has solutions for electrolytes and cobalt-free cathodes. Their electrolytes are non-flammable, high performance, and can handle wide temperatures (meaning they’ll work in cold weather.)

The company is raising now for pre-seed checks.

Jolly Mazumdar, PhD, Founder
"With our proprietary RNA we create affordable durable cell therapy, with a unique multivalent approach that turns a single treatment into unprecedented combination therapy"
Able Sciences has raised $275,000 from SOSV's IndieBio and others.
Amplifying the cure for patients.
Nobody else has been able to get express multiple kill signals in cell therapy in a single step

Why we invested:

For all the hype of cell therapies, to get beyond the 5% of eligible patients who receive such therapies today, the market needs 1) higher transfection success, and 2) multi-protein delivery in one construct. The founder of Able sciences are veteran drug developers who invented a self-amplifying RNA that delivers on both huge needs. 

They’ve shown impressively high and durable expression of their payloads in target cells, dramatically superior to that achievable through viral based engineering. Already they’ve shown expression of two functional proteins and plan to quickly demonstrate their ability to do three or four more. They went from idea to POC on human natural killer (NK) cells in a matter of months – able indeed! 

When integrated into off the shelf allogeneic cells, Able’s system can bring the cost of cell therapy under $100,000. 

We’re super excited about this ability to bring multiple protein payloads to deliver a knock-out punch on cancer, creating a plug-and-play system to either own virtually universal cell therapies and high value disease targets or enable partners to create their own efficacious target combinations.

Hila Behar, PhD, CEO
"At BryoSphere Biotechnologies, we harness the power of moss to solve a critical skincare challenge: the manufacturing of complex, plant-derived compounds. Our pioneering technology makes these transformative ingredients accessible, revolutionizing skincare with innovative, effective solutions."
BryoSphere has raised $275,000 from SOSV's IndieBio.
Harnessing moss biotech to manufacture the best natural compounds for skincare.
Moss has the genetic potential of land plants, with the scalable culture of algae

Why we invested:

Our investment in BryoSphere is an addition to SOSV’s next-gen biomanufacturing portfolio that spans a diversity of chassis, processes, vessels, and feedstocks. BryoSphere is one of the only companies in the world to use moss cells in photobioreactors as an expression system. These ancient plants are really good at making compounds to protect themselves from the sun’s UV radiation – compounds that can’t be made in any other system.

The first sign of aging isn’t wrinkles. It’s the age spots – known as hyperpigmentation. The solutions suck. Not this one. BryoSphere’s first product, BryoBright, is a natural hyperpigmentation treatment 3x more effective than existing options. This natural compound has been validated by many beauty companies, and could be added to hundreds of products, similar to the way SPF is. There’s been just one big problem – the natural molecule is too expensive to extract from plants, and nobody has been able to manufacture it affordably, even with synthetic chemistry. Enter moss to the rescue. BryoSphere is leveraging those capabilities of moss to create first-of-a-kind skincare ingredients for beauty brands, starting with BryoBright. 

Nikita Volodin, CEO of Farm Minerals
"At Farm Minerals, starting this summer, for every farmer in Europe, we are slashing the cost of fertilizers in half. Permanently. We can do this because our fertilizers are dramatically cheaper to manufacture than anything to come before."
Farm Minerals has raised $275,000 from SOSV's IndieBio.
The most efficient agricultural minerals on the market
Farmers all over Europe are protesting ... blocking bridges with their tractors and hurling manure on the steps of Parliament. It's too hard to make a living. One huge reason: they're spending $57 billion on fertilizer.

Why we invested:

Today, one ton of conventional fertilizer covers about 20 acres. What if, from the same raw materials, we could make fertilizers that covered 20,000 acres?

Using a novel emissions-free process, Farm Minerals has reinvented the efficiency of fertilizers to cover 1000x the land. The key to their process is a high-surface-area carbon encapsulation that makes the biominerals dramatically more bioavailable to plant and animal biology. It works in animal feeds as well. This effectively reduces COGS by 1000x, allowing the company to slash fertilizer costs in half and still earn over 90% margin.

Farm Minerals’ products have been validated in 8 crops and 3 animal feed additives so far. Performance has been remarkable and consistent.

They started with micronutrient minerals – Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, and Co – which are 20% of the market in the US. But they recently succeeded with Nitrogen and Potassium. For N fertilizers, this is a green/decarbonized process which is an alternative to Haber-Bosch.

Phosphorus, Calcium, and Sulpher are in progress.

California Organic has raised $3,720,000 from SOSV's IndieBio, Lucas Venture Group, and others.
World's first green ammonia that is California-certified organic -- biomade from farm waste.
We are shipping 150 tons a month, which is 5 truckloads (each truckload being 6,000 gallons.) Within a year we expect to be shipping 6x this amount.

California Organic makes the world’s first green ammonia that is California-certified organic. Already in market and growing rapidly, our organic ammonia is made from farm & ag wastes via a bulk fermentation bioprocess.

Until today, all organic agriculture has used nitrate fertilizers, which have several inefficiencies. Nitrates are in slurries and so can’t go into drip irrigation water systems; for this same reason, they can’t easily be increased in dosage step in step with the growth of the crop, and instead are intermittently applied to soil, which is laborious and imprecise. Most importantly, nitrates are water soluble and flush through the soil and leach out into groundwater. One-third of the nitrates are lost, and cause runoff problems downstream. Another third of the nitrates get eaten by soil microbes, as microbes eat before plants eat. Therefore much more nitrate has to be used, driving up total costs.

Ammonia products, meanwhile, are an immediately available source of nitrogen to crops, so they are preferred across conventional agriculture. They also bind to soil, so don’t flush away. In drip and trickle systems, they can feed the plant exactly when needed. By not drenching their fields, farmers avoid N2) hot moments. But until today, all ammonia products are chemically made – and forbidden in the organic sector.

California Organic invented a bioprocess to convert biowaste from farms and processors into ammonia products that are both decarbonized (green) and organic certified. After a 2-year rigorous evaluation with the CDFA, we began selling our green organic ammonia products in late 2023. Our production facility is over 1 million liters, and we are expanding it in 2024.

We can make our ammonia at up to 20% concentration in water; however, for organic applications, per agreement with the CDFA, we ship the ammonia at 6%.

Tony Hur, CEO of Cereswaves
"Of all the ways humankind has engineered agriculture to improve plant vitality, and in turn yield, not enough attention has been paid to the biggest input we feed our crops: water. Humble, taken for granted, sometimes scarce ... water is overlooked for innovation. Water molecules cluster, giving water a viscosity, a surface tension – but this clustering can be tuned and optimized, making biology more efficient."
World's first "electrofertilzer" -- dramatically boosting crop and animal growth and health

Cereswaves’ revolutionary Energy Pang device delivers the world’s first “electrofertilizer,” boosting crop and animal health and growth. Ultra low energy, it works by altering the water in plants and, in turn, transpiration of water through the plant.

The Energy Pang wavelength is so safe, it’s used in medical applications — even on premature infants. Cereswaves is the first in the world to beam this wavelength out at a distance, reaching 50 meters in every direction. The device needs no supply of electricity; it runs on a tiny bit of solar power. The device never needs maintenance. It is safe for farm workers.

Cereswaves has been testing its device with 30 highly-respected farmers in Korea over the last 3 years, repeatedly demonstrating higher yields and dramatically higher phytonutrient density across a wide variety of produce, fruits, and grains. The company has now commercialized with those trusted farmers. The device has also been tested and validated with two leading universities in Korea. It works equally in greenhouses or fields.

Cereswaves has also validated its benefits in henhouses on Ross 308 broilers, demonstrating over 15% improved growth and improved health.

Cereswaves is now partnering with global partners in agriculture and poultry.

Ksenia Burka, CEO
"Today’s tools won't make gene therapies mainstream. Instead of delivering just DNA or RNA, why not give cells an extra nucleus?"
Reactosome has raised $300,000 from SOSV's IndieBio and other angels.
The synthetic nucleus company
There are only a handful of scientists in the world who can make a synthetic nucleus. Only one is doing it for therapeutics

Why we invested:

Reactosome uses synthetic nuclei as a novel class of gene therapy. This is not a “better” LNP, AAV, etc – This would be peerless in delivering very large DNA payloads ALONG WITH the transcription machinery to transcribe RNAs. As a result, the internalized nuclei can continuously pump out mRNAs into the cytosol. This is important for therapies that need to correct large defective genes or gene circuits (i.e., Duchennes, hemophilia, collagenopathies), for a longer period of time and without the inconvenience of redosing. 

Reactosome is a therapeutic company at its core, but they are also pioneers of the synthetic nucleus who have left academia to direct the engineering efforts towards a synthetic nuclei that can be used in gene therapy. Compared to liposomal delivery, Reactosome’s modality would offer longer duration of effect and at a reduced immunogenicity. And compared to viral and non-viral vectors, Reactosome would have greatly reduced risk of genomic integration since the cargo DNA is contained entirely within the complex.

Abed Bukhari, CEO
“Green methanol isn't just a product; it's a revolution to replace fossil fuels with a much cleaner solution. Our scalable technology is rewriting the narrative, offering a cleaner, greener future in the marine and aviation markets.”
Spiral Wave has raised $1.025M from SOSV IndieBio, Genesis Consortium, and the Decarbonization Consortium
Methanol from cold plasma and air
The International Chamber of Shipping projects that over 100 ships equipped with methanol-fueled engines will be operational by 2024, resulting in an additional demand of approximately a million tonnes of methanol.

Welcome to the era of “Direct Air Utilization.” You all know Direct Air Capture, and you all know Carbon Utilization. In a single step, SpiralWave radically brings down the energy and the costs of transforming the carbon in air and the hydrogen in water into hydrocarbon fuel. Unlike competing DAC and CCUS technologies and traditional reactors relying on vacuums, high temperatures, and pricey catalysts, SpiralWave scales non-thermal plasma at atmospheric pressure indefinitely.

Each SpiralWave’s reactor –  The Microbeam™  – can mine CO2 from the air each day, combining it with hydrogen from river or lake water, resulting in green methanol at cost parity with grey methanol — all at room temperature and ambient pressure. The energy demand is very low; one ton of pure methanol costs 7,000 KWh.

Our second reactor  –  The Nanobeam™  – performs Direct Flue Gas Utilization. We skip the capture, and work directly from your flue gas, whether it’s a low CO2 concentration or high, and including CO mix or not.

SpiralWave carefully fine-tunes the pulse, the frequency, and water microdroplet parameters to bias towards the formation of methanol, as opposed to other hydrocarbon byproducts. This green-methanol is a vital building block for an emerging class of green maritime fuels. To that end, a large global transport, logistics, and energy conglomerate has expressed interest in a large takeoff agreement with SpiralWave.