Delighted to report that today Shapeways announced a $30m fundraising led by Andreesen Horowitz. You can read more about it here >> (Shapeways, New York Times, AllthingsD, Wired, GigaOm, Venturebeat). Index Ventures first invested in Shapeways in October 2010 after many months of negotiations to spin out of Philips.
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Economics is occasionally derided as a phony science. Frankly I struggled with it school and university so to me this description really resonates. How can the graphs and formulae in the textbooks ever really capture the behavior of complex organizations and impulsive consumers?
The most successful venture-backed companies are those with great entrepreneurs, disrupting a market at just the right time. Clearly the capital and claimed expertise of VCs do not on their own create a winning company. The entrepreneur and founding team are the most critical building blocks. After all, entrepreneurs can be successful without venture capitalists, but the reverse is obviously not possible. Venture capital amplifies the success of the best startup companies, and also in marginal cases, the capital and support of a good venture-capital firm can make the difference between a positive or negative outcome for all concerned.
Today’s news that Just Eat has raised $64m to complete their European conquest and continue their expansion outside Europe (India, Canada, Brazil, etc.) is validation of a both a winning recipe and talented team of chefs. As with all businesses however the path to success curved around many blind corners. When Index Ventures first invested in 2009, the seeds of success may have been sown, but a number of risks and challenges lay ahead for the Company. I’ve gone back to my original notes from 2009 to look at risk factors my colleagues and I identified and the key questions we discussed before our original investment and provided a brief update on how the Company has progressed.
One area where we are committed to enhance our proposition to entrepreneurs and invest more time and money is the Nordic and Baltic area. Index Ventures has already invested a disproportionately high share of funds and time here relative to the size of the markets. Here we reflect on what Index has been up to in the region, and just why it creates so many innovative and successful tech companies.
We are delighted to announce that Sami Lababidi has started to work part-time at Index Ventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Sami was absolutely pivotal in the success of Playfish but always extremely humble and generally left the promotional slots to be filled by Kristian Segerstråle and Sebastian De Halleux.
Today, I am really excited to finally announce a first investment for Index Ventures in mobile gaming. Along with a great syndicate of two new firms, London Venture Partners and Initial Capital, we are investing $2.5m in Grey Area, the Company behind the next big mobile gaming phenomenon - Shadow Cities. (Press Release & Techcrunch)
I’m delighted to announce that after long discussions and a lot of hard work on the part of Philips, our co-investors Union Square Ventures and Simon Levene and most specifically Peter Weijmarshausen and his team at Shapeways, that we have finalised our investment in the company. The New York Times coverage is here and Shapeways commentary here. What I thought might be interesting is to give some context on the company and why we are so excited about it.