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24 June 2014

Investing Beyond Silicon Valley 

London-based Index Ventures has raised another €400 million to invest in technology startups in the latest evidence that venture capital investment is establishing a foothold far beyond its base in Silicon Valley.

Index Ventures partner Neil Rimer complains that many Silicon Valley venture capitalists will not trouble themselves to get on a plane and search for great opportunities outside the US. In Rimer’s view, that leaves the rest of the world for his firm to invest in.

Index Ventures already has an impressive track record. It achieved exits worth $1 billion or more last year for seven of its startup investments, including the IPO of King Entertainment - creator of the Candy Crush online game - and the acquisition of a data science company Climate Corp. by Monsanto. Index Ventures was also an early investor in Skype, SoundCloud and DropBox.

The firm’s eighth fund will support early stage technology companies in financial services, consumer mobile services, enterprise and networking. Index Ventures notes that disruptive technologies are emerging in areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Another promising area is the “Internet of things,” which connects devices of all kinds and sensors to the Internet, allowing people and companies to mine data in new and innovative ways that were unimaginable a few years ago.

Silicon Valley came into existence because like-minded people found it convenient to gather in one area, whether for power lunches or all-night bursts of programming. Index Ventures sees a fundamental challenge to geographic-based models in the rapid development of high-speed Internet and cloud-based technologies.

Thanks to the Internet, companies today can find partners, suppliers and customers in any part of the world, creating ample opportunities for investors willing to embrace ideas that transcend borders.