Index Ventures, a leading Euro VC, opens a Valley office

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Index Ventures, among Europe’s best performing tech-focused VCs, is opening an office in Silicon Valley. Perhaps to some it may seem odd that Index didn’t have an office there before, given that so many of its portfolio companies (such as Etsy, Flipboard, Last.fm (CBS) and OpenX among others) have ended up with a large US focus.

In a blog post today the company says partners Mike Volpi and Danny Rimmer will be opening Index’s fourth office after Geneva, London and Jersey, in Silicon Valley.

The reason? “While we’ve been encouraged by the progress we’ve made, we feel we can do a better job of supporting the entrepreneurs we work with both in Europe and the US by having a permanent presence in the Bay Area.”

Over the last 15 years Index as concentrated its investments in Europe but retained investments on both sides of the Atlantic, investing in almost 200 start ups in 20 different countries. It’s also invested in over 58 companies that started in the US and “supported 35 companies that started in Europe and crossed the pond”, so “putting our roots down in the Valley is the next logical step in our development.”

In truth however, we think this much more a function of the external market for startups right now. First of all Index, in common with other VCs like DST, are now doubling-down on consumer tech startups which can grow in the US, a large homogenous market which is open to new technology and where there are more exit opportunities than in Europe. Secondly, it now makes sense to be able to ‘see’ developments in the US earlier and then invest in similar companies in Europe that can be moved over quickly.

In addition, conversations about new trends in the Valley usually happen three to six months before we even read about them on tech blogs. Having an ear to the ground there is no bad thing.

The full blog post is below:

Putting Down Some Roots

Jan 14 2011 Posted in Index Seed by Mike Volpi
Today we’re excited to announce that Index is opening its fourth office and that Danny and Mike will be going to the Bay Area to get it going.
For us this feels like a big move. But truth be told, although Index was born in Europe and has been based in Geneva, London and Jersey, we’ve always dedicated ourselves to backing the best entrepreneurs and helping them build the best companies on both sides of the Atlantic and this means our hearts have always been both here and in the US.
While we’ve been encouraged by the progress we’ve made, we feel we can do a better job of supporting the entrepreneurs we work with both in Europe and the US by having a permanent presence in the Bay Area.
Over the last 15 years, we have tried to build a truly international platform and partnership, where every partner has investments on both sides of the Atlantic. We hope that by being immersed in both worlds, we can offer the best possible support to entrepreneurs and hopefully produce superior results.
In our history, we have invested in almost 200 start ups in 20 different countries from the earliest seed deals through to venture and growth. Along the way, we must have racked up more miles than most salespeople flying over the Atlantic. There’s literally one of us in the Bay Area, New York or LA almost every week. But, we believe that venture capital requires true global focus. Having invested in over 58 companies that started in the US and supported 35 companies that started in Europe and crossed the pond, putting our roots down in the Valley is the next logical step in our development.
Our focus will continue to be firmly concentrated on the two regions where we can add the most value: Europe and the US. We believe that having this dual DNA allows us to help our companies in very unique ways: providing diverse perspectives, offering a broad range of relevant experiences, and tapping relationships we have nurtured over the years.
For Danny and Mike, this is also a bit of a homecoming. They have both spent years as professionals in Silicon Valley. As both outsiders and insiders at the same time, they are looking forward to continuing the partnerships they have developed with the entrepreneurial community in the Valley. They are also quite happy to reduce the quantity of 11pm phone calls to California from London.
We hope that our portfolio companies, our partners and the community of entrepreneurs we aspire to work with will view this step as another example of how dedicated we are to making Index a great firm. We are really looking forward to the next chapter.
Danny, Mike and the Index partnership

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