We first started investing in London in 2001 when we backed two American former consultants - Josh Hannah and Vince Monical - who had moved here to start Flutter, the business which later became Betfair. In fact, it’s pretty remarkable how far London has come in entrepreneurial terms since we made that first investment and Danny opened our first London office on Clifford Street in 2002.
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Index’s roots are in Geneva, Switzerland. We know that large Swiss government organizations are generally not “early adopters” of technology. So, when the folks at Zuora told us that the Touring Club of Switzerland had adopted them for their subscription billing services, we knew something was up…. Today, we are delighted to announce our Index Growth investment is Zuora.
Observing the venture industry over the past 15 years, one notices that successful startups have often been sold before reaching their full potential, especially in Europe.
In some cases an early exit is appropriate. Certain startups should be sold in the early years of their success if, for example, the size of the opportunity turns out to be more limited than originally anticipated, or when management and investors have diverging views about the future potential for the business.
Today as we announce the news that we’re launching Index’s second growth equity fund, a new €500m fund to invest in fast-growing businesses, it seems like a good chance to take stock and give a little context.
One area where we are committed to enhance our proposition to entrepreneurs and invest more time and money is the Nordic and Baltic area. Index Ventures has already invested a disproportionately high share of funds and time here relative to the size of the markets. Here we reflect on what Index has been up to in the region, and just why it creates so many innovative and successful tech companies.
OZON’s announcement of the largest ever investment in a Russian eCommerce company marks a fantastic achievement for the whole team, and all of us here at Index are very proud to be playing a small role in this remarkable story.
Our crack IT man, Daniel O'Hanlon, was struggling a few months ago. A lot of us at Index had moved over to Macs and iPhones, but he had built Index's entire identity and access management system around Microsoft Active Directory (AD). As is the case with so many IT shops out there, who have adopted Microsoft platforms as the "core" architecture, Daniel was feeling the pain of a changing world.
Today, Cloud.com has announced that it is being acquired by Citrix. It is a bittersweet moment for us at Index as we have loved working with Sheng and the team at Cloud.com, but Citrix made an offer that the team couldn’t refuse.
The 1770 and 80s were tumultuous and exciting times in America’s history. The “founding fathers” had catalyzed the nascent country into declaring its independence from England and architected the foundation for what was to become one of the most remarkable ascents of national power over the next 300+ years. These were heady days. But, the challenges facing the country in the late 1770s were also daunting. This was a start-up nation that had declared war against the Microsoft or Google of the time: the all-powerful nation of England.
Over the last 5 years many of us have made the 3.2 mile trip between Conduit St and Old St countless times. While we love to travel, as we’ve learned with our move to the US, there comes a time when you have to put down some roots.
So from today, the Index team in London will have two homes - one in Central London in Mayfair and one in East London near Silicon Roundabout.