Index Ventures has closed €400 Million fund, which it plans to use to invest in “more of the same” – which for Index Ventures, means global leaders in the industries of FinTech, Mobile, Big Data, Security & Marketplaces.
In conjunction with its announcement to invest in Europe, the US & Israel, Index Ventures has doubled down on its “7 major hubs” philosophy, which underscores its desire to be present in what it sees as the 7 major tech hubs in the world: London, San Francisco, Berlin, New York, Stockholm/Nordics, Tel Aviv and Paris. While it is only present in 4 of the 7, it is building relationships in the other markets, such as in Paris with their investment in TheFamily. I spoke with Index Ventures’ Martin Mignot, who referred to TheFamily as an “Ecosystem builder,” stating that they are “helping companies get financing in an innovative way.”
Within the European tech ecosystem, Index Ventures is among a very elite class of Tier 1 investors, alongside Accel Partners & Balderton Capital. These investors invest across Europe (a feat in its own right), and have a propensity for picking global leaders out of the herd and giving them the necessary funding and access to other forms of capital that are needed.
Part of Index Ventures’ success in the European Tech Ecosystem has been their commitment to it. In addition to lobbying in London for the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) High Growth Segment, they also helped portfolio company Just Eat become the first company to be listed on the segment earlier this year.
In France, Index’s portfolio’s looks like a groomed list of France’s top current and past startups: Algolia, Capitaine Train, Drivy, Netvibes, Rad, TheFamily, and others. The team’s French investments have most recently been led by Mignot, who has recently been joined by fellow francophone Sofia Hmich, who will hopefully funnel much of this money into the French Tech Ecosystem.
Mignot & Hmich will be joined by Dom Vidal, an Index Ventures partner who has built a reputation through his annual Index Ventures party at his Paris apartment in December in conjunction with LeWeb, will be speaking at France Digitale Day today in Paris.
Jokingly, Mignot asked me earlier this week how I was going to “spin” the new Index fund. He was, of course, referring to my article on their 6th fund from 2012, where I stated that French startups shouldn’t hold their breath on getting any of the company’s €350 Million fund. I, of course, ate my words on that comment, as Index has doubled down on France to a point where Index is no longer a London fund investing in Paris – they themselves refer to London & Paris as one ecosystem, rightly so – but a European fund with a significant stake in the Paris ecosystem.
I’m not sure I have a cheeky comment about this next fund – I think “more of the same,” as Mignot put it, is exactly what we can expect – more investments, more global leaders in Europe, Israel & US, and more competition among VCs to get in on deals like Algolia’s first fundraising.
I have been a big proponent of French startups going to London for their first VC round (though there are downsides to having Index be a seed investor), as I believe it creates competition within the French VC ring, and ultimately raises access to capital and valuations for startups. We’ve seen this in the past few years, with Index as well as with Accel (their latest investment in PeopleDoc, as well as their hiring Fred Destin, long-time investor in many of France’s most well-known startups) & Balderton, and I think that we’ll only see more of this in the future.