‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be the mantra at Index Ventures, which has just announced a new €400 million ($542 million) fund.
As with its predecessors, the London-based firm’s seventh early-stage fund – covering from seed-stage up to €15 million ($20 million) – will invest in predominantly European startups, with US and Israeli companies thrown into the mix. The fund is sticking with the same sectors, such as big data, financial services, marketplaces, fashion and ecommerce, mobile and security, too.
Looking at the performance of the Index portfolio over the past year, it’s easy to see why the firm is not changing its approach. It’s seen seven $1 billion+ exits, including IPOs for Just Eat, King, Zendesk, Criteo and Arista Networks.
Index partner Ben Holmes is upbeat about Europe’s tech prospects, noting that this new fund took notably less time to raise than its predecessors, with investors less skeptical about the sector than in the past.
Don’t necessarily take that as a sign of a bubble, either. “It’s not like 15 years ago,” he says, noting that “the bar’s still high for going public” – the public markets are still discerning.
The Just Eat IPO was the first listing in the London Stock Exchange’s new High Growth Segment, for which Index was a campaigner. Holmes isn’t calling for any other big changes the in the sector now though. Asked about policy issues, he says that governments around Europe generally have the right approach, ‘flag-flying’ rather than directly getting involved in backing tech companies.
The new fund brings the total raised since Index’s inception early stage to €3 billion ($4 billion).