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Index Ventures成立两家新基金,募资16.5亿美元

国际资讯投融资

Index Ventures成立两家新基金,募资16.5亿美元

昨日,著名创投基金Index Ventures宣布成立总计16.5亿美元的新基金,其中10亿美元计划投资于后期增长轮基金,6.5亿美元计划投资于早期小型创企基金。

这也是Index自1996年成立以来第九个风险基金,和第四个增长轮基金。

此次基金的资金数额巨大,有诸多原因。Index是欧洲和美国比较著名的风险投资公司之一,它最近的热门投资包括Adyen、Dropbox、iZettle和Zuora (所有这些公司现在要么已经上市,要么就像iZettle一样已经被收购)。因此,它的投资已经成为企业关注的信号,并为投资选择设定了基调。

此次基金融资的资金规模也很庞大。Index在过去几年里融资了72.5亿美元,它使用这笔资金为数百家初创企业提供支持,并帮助推动了互联网和移动等技术的发展。过去的十多年可谓是名副其实的技术繁荣阶段。

但即使在这一更长的趋势中,近年来,进入科技生态系统的风险投资也在大幅增长,软银等大型投资者将科技巨头的聚集在一起,实现了数百亿美元(甚至数万亿美元)的投资。

当今世界上最有价值的公司被科技领域所主宰,强大的回报导致更多的资金涌入这个行业。此次Index的16.5亿美元相比之前的增长和风险基金来说,是一种飞跃:2016年,它融资了12.5亿美元( 5.5亿美元用于风险投资,7亿美元用于增长),这在当时是规模庞大的,现在看来几乎微不足道。

Index投资合伙人Martin Mignot在接受采访时表示:

“资金额较大的原因是因为企业提前筹集了更多资金。资本越多,机会也更大。初创企业正在追逐更大的行业和GDP的更大比例,我们相信,这一结果的规模将会变得更大。”

Index的另一个投资合伙人Mike Volpi在谈到Index对滑板车初创公司Bird的投资时说:

“过去,运营数千辆滑板车不会被视为风险投资的机会。但现在却是。”

“我们现在还处于起步阶段,”Mignot在谈到交通创企时表示。

这也导致了初创企业发展方式的巨大转变。资本最高的人可以更长时间保持私人身份,因为私人资金比以前更容易获得:这意味着更大的增长周期,更多的投资者获得回报的次级,以及“退出”前更长的周期。”同样值得注意的是,Index为增长投资筹集了10亿美元。

但是,虽然一些风投公司现在正在专门针对二级销售制定策略,但这并不是Index计划走的路线。

“可能会有一点二级,但不多。我们没有设立二级基金的计划,”Volpi说。“这不是我们目前的重点,在可预见的将来也不是。”

Index表示,该基金的增长资金将会流向之前投资的一些知名的公司,包括Aurora、Bird、Deliveroo、Elastic、Farfetch、Robinhood、Revolut和Slack。(从另一个角度来看:如果你还不知道这个名单上的创企筹集了更多的资金,你现在知道了。)其中一些似乎还将涉及帮助其投资组合公司在Index网络和影响力领域与其他公司更紧密地合作。

例如,Volpi指出,“Slack的一个关键增长领域是欧洲,因此我们在传统融资之外做了许多事情来帮助取得这些进展。”

Index的投资团队目前拥有21人,但在九个投资合伙人中只有一名女性——Sarah Cannon。

“这是许多公司试图解决的一个有效问题,”Volpi在谈及Index金字塔顶端缺乏女性时说。他说,Index的做法是增加各级别女性的人数。“在我们最近的12次招聘中,有7次是女性,”他说。“招聘的速度意味着我们不会在一夜之间改变,但我们对这一进展感到高兴,最终我们会转变到一半一半。”

Make way for more money into the startup investing pool. Today, Index Ventures  announced that it has closed a total of $1.65 billion in new funds — $1 billion that it plans to invest in later-stage, growth rounds, and $650 million that it plans to put into earlier rounds for smaller startups.

The venture fund is Index’s ninth; the growth round is its fourth since it was founded in 1996.

The funding is significant for a couple of reasons. Index is one of Europe’s (and America’s) more prominent venture capital firms, backing recent hits like Adyen, Dropbox, iZettle, and Zuora (all of which have now either gone public or, in the case of iZettle, been acquired), so its backing has become something of a signal for companies to watch (similar to a number of others, it should be noted), as well as setting a pace for investing choices (including who is doing the investing).

The funding is also notable because of the size of the funds. Index has raised $7.25 billion over the years, using that money to seed and grow hundreds of startups, and helping to fuel — alongside the growth of the internet and technologies like mobile — what has become a veritable tech boom over the last couple of decades.

But even within that longer trend, more recent years have seen an even bigger infusion of venture funding into the tech ecosystem, with outsized backers like Softbank bringing together syndicates of tech titans to bring in tens (and even hundreds) of billions of dollars into the mix.

The strong returns that the very biggest startups deliver — the world’s most valuable companies today are dominated by tech names — has led to even more money pouring into the sector. This latest $1.65 billion from Index is a leap on its previous growth and venture fund close: in 2016 it raised $1.25 billion ($550 million for venture and $700 million for growth), which at the time seemed huge and now seems almost modest.

“The reason why it’s a larger amount is because companies are raising more money earlier. There is more capital, [but also] the opportunities are larger,” said Martin Mignot, and investing partner with Index, in an interview with TechCrunch. “Startups are going after larger sectors and a greater percentage of the GDP, and we believe that the size of outcome will get larger.”

“Operating thousands of scooters would not have been thought of as a venture-backed opportunity in the past,” added Mike Volpi, another investing partner at Index, in reference to Index’s investment in the scooter startup Bird. “It is now.”

“We are still in the very early innings of this,” Mignot said of the wave of transportation startups.

This is also leading to a big shift in how startups are evolving. The most highly capitalised are staying private for longer, because private money is much easier to come by than it was before: this means large growth rounds, more secondaries for investors to get their returns, and longer cycles before “exits.” In that vein, it’s notable that Index has raised $1 billion for growth investments.

But while some VCs are now looking at strategies specifically around secondary sales, this will not be a route Index plans to take.

“There might be a sliver of secondary, but not much. We have no plans to do a secondary fund,” said Volpi. “That is not our focus at this point, nor for the foreseeable future.”

Index says that the growth money in this fund will be going to some of the biggest names in its stable already, which includes the likes of Aurora, Bird, Deliveroo, Elastic, Farfetch, Robinhood, Revolut and Slack. (Another way to look at this: if you didn’t already know about the startups in this list raising more money… you do now.) Some of that it seems will also involve helping its portfolio companies work more closely with others in the Index network and sphere of influence.

On Slack, for example, Volpi notes, “One of Slack’s key growth areas is Europe, and so we’re doing a number of things outside of traditional funding to help with those advances.”

Index now has 21 people on its investment team, but with only one woman among its nine investing partners — Sarah Cannon.

“It’s a valid problem that many firms are trying to address,” Volpi said of lack of females at the top of Index’s pyramid. He said Index’s approach is to add more women at all levels. “Seven out of our last 12 hires have been women,” he said. “The pace of hiring means we will not change overnight, but we’re happy with the progress and eventually will see us shift to 50-50, as it should be.”


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