Veteran VC Mike Volpi discusses investing and fundraising in ‘a very difficult time’

Last week, I talked with Mike Volpi, longtime Index Ventures partner and the former head of M&A at Cisco for many years before that. We originally planned to talk about Index and general market trends, and we did. The topics we discussed included whether self-driving technologies have attracted too much funding and the damage inflicted by SoftBank on its portfolio companies.

Still, few could have predicted how extraordinarily trying the week would be leading up to our interview. Little wonder we spent much of our time talking about who is likely to snap shut their checkbook first, and why, in some cases, the best thing to do now is to keep the money flowing.

We have parts of our conversation available in podcast form here; other pieces, including those not included in the podcast, follow. These excerpts have been lightly edited for length.

TechCrunch: Let’s talk first about Index. You closed your last funds in 2018 with $1.65 billion in capital commitments. Are you in the market again now?

Mike Volpi: We raise funds every three-ish years. So, at some point, yeah, we’ll be in the market again. [We are] not specifically at this point in time, but sooner or later we’ll raise another fund.

More broadly speaking — and because the market is tanking so badly as we speak — do LPs tend to snap their checkbooks shut as soon as trouble hits? What’s been your experience over the years?