(includes all investments of $500,000 or more, listed alphabetically)
Allogene Therapeutics (www.allogene.com)

Allogene is run by the former heads of Kite Pharma (Arie Belldegrun and David Chang) and is a clinical stage biotech company focused on developing off the shelf (allogeneic) CAR T therapies for cancer. Following Kite’s success, its principals are devoted to developing new cell therapies that can fight cancer faster, more reliably, and less expensively than the autologous competition. In addition to a founder’s stake, Sonostar and its principals have invested several million in multiple private and public rounds in the company. Following the company’s IPO in October 2018, the stock has more than doubled as the company makes further advances with its allogenic solutions.


Andersen, Renewal by (www.renewalbyandersen.com)

Renewal by Andersen is the nation’s largest residential window replacement business. With individual businesses established based on specific geographic territories, RbA is a direct to consumer marketing solution that sells and installs high quality Andersen replacement windows in consumer’s homes throughout the country. Moore Holdings owns a controlling interest and Sonostar principals own a significant minority interest in the RbA Long Island, New Jersey, Atlanta, San Francisco, Toronto and Midwest territories. Excluding the Moore Holdings investment, Sonostar principals have individually and through affiliated entities invested several million dollars in multiple investments in what continues to be our most successful investment to date.

 

Andie (www.Andieswim.com)

With operations in New York and Australia, Andie is a global direct to consumer women’s bathing suit and swimwear company. Launched in 2018, the business is off to a great start having already distinguished itself for its high quality, attractive, competitively priced products. Sonostar principals invested in two rounds for this venture, and revenue growth has been consistently strong. Projected revenues for 2020 should exceed $15 million and the business is projected to be EBITDA positive.

 

Aqua Finance Inc. (www.aquafinance.com)

Aqua Finance is a consumer finance company that was formed originally to provide dealers with financing tools and offerings for homeowners purchasing water treatment services for their homes (e.g. Culligan). As part of an effort to expand its finance business to other home improvement projects, HVAC financing, vacuum financing, medical financing and more, and in an effort to create more attractive sources of funding by providing a pipeline of products for loan backed securities, the Company reached out to and agreed to sell itself to Blackstone. Sonostar principals along with various partners from Two River joined the Blackstone acquisition team providing several million dollars of acquisition equity financing. We are excited to leverage our relationships in the home improvement industry to help create new and additional sources of loan demand.

 

Baby Generation(www.hellomockingbird.com)

Baby Generation is a direct to consumer baby stroller and related products company. Since inception, the company developed a high-end stroller with all the features and positives of an UPPA baby or Bugaboo stroller but at less than half the price. The company has had immediate success – generating positive cashflow from year one and is already operating at a $15 million + run rate with attractive margins and highly profitable net income.

 

By Heart Infant Formula(www.byheart.com)

Sonostar and its principals invested in this infant formula business in 2019. Since that time, the company has purchased its own manufacturing facility and initiated final testing of its infant nutrition products prior to FDA approval, with trial enrollment nearly completed. Through ownership of its supply chain as well as the manufacturing facilities, the company is well on its way to becoming the 4th fully integrated U.S. based, FDA registered infant nutrition company in the world. The goal of the company is to provide the infant nutrition category with next generation quality focused on the most current nutritional science. The company expects to launch its first commercial product in 2021.

 

Grab (www.grab.com)

Grab is the “Uber” of Southeast Asia. Most well known for its ride hailing services, the company has also expanded to food delivery and mobile payment services. Following its acquisition of UBER’s southeast Asian operations, Grab became the largest ride hailing company in that part of the world. Grab has done multiple financings at increasing valuations. Through an investment vehicle called Silverstone, Sonostar principals and certain of the Two River principals invested several million dollars in a round that gave Grab a post money, post UBER merger valuation of approximately $8 billion. Since that time Grab has done multiple follow on fundraisings, most recently at an $11 - $12 billion valuation and is expanding its consumer offerings to include multiple advancements in the digital economy. This diversity of revenue streams is proving valuable as the company grapples with the impact of COVID on ride sharing.

 

Hubble (www.hubblecontacts.com)

Hubble is a direct to consumer e-commerce subscription service providing comfortable daily wear contact lenses to consumers at a price that is 30 – 50% less expensive than the brand leaders. Sonostar principals and Two River were significant founding investors and have participated in each subsequent investment round. Sonostar’s principals have invested approximately $3 million in Hubble. With its recent addition of Contacts Cart, Hubble now offers a full range of contact lens prescriptions for consumers, including most of the leading brands. The company is EDITDA positive and generating revenue at an approximately $100 million annual run rate.

 

Kronos Bio (www.kronosbio.com)

Kronos began its operations with proprietary drug screening technologies and has used those technologies to identify novel therapies designed to make inroads against untreatable cancer targets. Kronos recently in-licensed two compounds from Gilead to treat AML and expects to initiate Phase 2/3 trials for that indication in 2021. In addition, Kronos is currently advancing two pre-clinical programs – one to suppress MYC driven transcription and one to reduce cell growth and Androgen Receptor expression in treatment resistant cell lines. Sonostar provided $1 million in Founder capital and has provided additional capital in subsequent rounds, alongside our partners from Two River. Kronos completed its IPO in October 2020, with the IPO pricing representing more than a 6x return on our invested capital as of Q4 2020.

 

Neogene Therapeutics (www.neogene.com)

Sonostar and its principals invested alongside Two River Group in the initial and subsequent funding of this pre-clinical biotech company focused on identifying T Cell receptor (TCR) genes in solid tumors and identifying appropriate neo-antigen personalized T Cell therapies to treat these cancers. The company was formed in 2018 and recently completed a $110 million Series A financing from investors representing multiple highly respected biotechnology funds.

 

Vitralogy LLC (www.vitralogy.com)

Vitralogy is an OaaS platform that fully automates data analysis of cooling towers in offices, hotels and apartment buildings in order to assure compliance with regulations regarding the presence and measurement of Legionella disease. The platform is designed to provide an end to end solution enabling building owners to ensure full and complete compliance with Legionella regulations. In addition to Legionella, Vitralogy is offering a suite of services to the commercial real estate market enabling assurance of regulatory compliance and cost effective monitoring solutions. Sonostar’s principals have invested several hundred thousand dollars in this new technology solution.

 

Vida Ventures (www.vidaventures.com)

Vida is an early stage biotech fund run by the partners of Two River and Wildcat Capital Management (David Bonderman’s fund). Since its inception just 3 years ago, Vida has already realized compelling returns and is poised to repeat the extraordinary historical performance of its investment management team. Sonostar principals have committed $2.5 million to the fund and to its sidecar investment in Allogene. Since inception, the fund has realized and unrealized gains greater than 3x invested capital.

 

Some of our prior successes and failures
Successes -

Paradigm Direct – A performance marketing company – sold to Mosaic for $200 million.

Velcera (Pet Armor) – A generic flea and tick product company sold to Perrigo for $160 million.

USHS – the largest kitchen and deck remodeling company in the US, IPO’ed for 10x and subsequently sold to Home Depot.

Marquis Jets – The first 25 hour private jet card subscription service. Sold to Net Jets for 3x return.

Wintegra – a fabless semiconductor company providing single chip solutions for the convergence of voice and data infrastructure – sold to PMC – Sierra for $240 million.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals – early stage biotech company focused on development of perifosene for cancer as well as various drugs for chronic kidney disease. IPO’ed and subsequently sold shares in the market at prices ranging between $7 - $18 per share.

Kite Pharma – under the leadership of Arie Belldegrun, Kite developed one of the first CAR T drugs to be approved by the FDA. We were an early investor and participant in Kite’s IPO. The Company was sold to Gilead for $11.9 billion in late 2017.

Allogene – from an initial founders investment to multiple subsequent funding’s the company has IPO’d and has a current valuation of more than $5.25 billion. The company has shown meaningful success in allogeneic treatments of blood cancers and has continuing trials ongoing designed to measure durability and applicability to solid tumors.

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) – Sonostar and its principals established a large position in shares of GBT in the low 30’s in Q4 2018 in anticipation of accelerated approval for Voxeletor, GBT’s lead drug candidate for the treatment of sickle cell disease. Sonostar exited its position in the mid 70’s in Q4 2019 following approval and launch of the drug.

 

Some Failures –

Double Agent – interactive search engine and information organization portal. Company was unable to raise additional funds and closed in 2001.

Leading Web Advertisers – An advertising monitoring service providing real time advertising tracking on the internet. Company was sold to CMP in 2002 at a substantial discount to the value of our investment.

Tigris Biopharmaceuticals – start up biotech focused on early stage cancer research. The Company was sold to a private investor at a substantial discount to our investment.

Night Operations Systems – High powered military grade flashlight. Unable to raise additional funds after several years of delayed development.

Golden Goal Soccer and Lacrosse Tournament Park – 300+ acre sports park featuring state of the art synthetic fields and housing for youth soccer and lacrosse. Fell victim to the recession in 2008 and was sold at auction for $2.5 million – a fraction of the $12 million invested.

Fire Capital – a real estate fund focused on the development of middle-class housing projects in various large cities in India. Hurt by setbacks during the recession, the business was sold for approximately 40 cents on the dollar in 2017.

Corbus Biopharmaceuticals – the Company’s primary drug candidate, lenabasum, failed in its Phase 3 clinical trial for scleroderma, resulting in a huge decline for the stock. Because of hedging, Sonostar’s losses were materially reduced but the outcome was disappointing and costly, nonetheless.

 

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All trademarks are owned by the respective company or Sonostar Ventures LLC.