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?
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FTSE 100 companies and the Public Sector are failing to take advantage of the transformative potential of the Internet economy, which now represents over 8% of UK GDP.
“Flatlining”, “pre-recovery”, “stagnant”, “sluggish” - we’re running out of adjectives to describe the UK’s seemingly moribund economy. Stripped of its AAA rating last weekend, it shrank by 0.3% in the final quarter of last year , and - amid signs of a possible triple dip recession - more of the same is predicted for 2013.
The Eurozone economy, meanwhile, is a horror show in slow-motion. After a contraction of 0.6% last year, the European Commission predicts that the 17 nation region collectively will shrink by 0.3% this year. And there will be no return to growth until 2014.
IT’S been described as “the $4.2 trillion (£2.7 trillion) opportunity”. According to the Boston Consulting Group, there will be 3bn internet users globally by 2016. If it were a nation, the internet-based economy would rank in the world’s top five. And the UK sits at the forefront, with 8.3 per cent of GDP now online – the highest proportion in the G20.
When Net-a-Porter launched in 2000, Natalie Massenet, the company’s inspiring founder, faced considerable scepticism about the very premise of her new venture. Why would women ever buy expensive clothing online? Wasn’t the internet the realm of mass market, cheap goods—the antithesis of what exclusive brands like Louboutin and Chloe stood for?
The ‘campaign’ to kickstart the London tech IPO market has kicked off. The blog posts that Neil Rimer and I both published have attracted a lot of press attention. The engagement we’ve had with No10 and the LSE should result in some small but important regulatory changes that should be seen as important steps towards making London a major hub for tech IPOs.
Here at Index, our conference rooms often play host to ardent debates. Robust discourse over where we should invest is an ingrained part of our culture. But when it comes to the fundamental issues that allow us to act on our mission of promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, we are generally in violent agreement. Over the last few months, we have mobilised around one major issue: to open the London IPO market and allow homegrown companies to realize their full potential.
Together we can get the Tech IPO market going in London
From our vantage point at Index, the centrality of the Tech sector to economic growth -- particularly during the economic slowdown of the last few years -- is all too clear.
A recent piece in the FT reiterated this point. Ed Hammond, the paper's property correspondent reviewed the shifting make-up of the City and the steady transformation of the tenant mix in the Square Mile.
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.
We first started investing in London in 2001 when we backed two American former consultants - Josh Hannah and Vince Monical - who had moved here to start Flutter, the business which later became Betfair. In fact, it’s pretty remarkable how far London has come in entrepreneurial terms since we made that first investment and Danny opened our first London office on Clifford Street in 2002.
Index’s roots are in Geneva, Switzerland. We know that large Swiss government organizations are generally not “early adopters” of technology. So, when the folks at Zuora told us that the Touring Club of Switzerland had adopted them for their subscription billing services, we knew something was up…. Today, we are delighted to announce our Index Growth investment is Zuora.