With technology reshaping and demystifying all aspects of financial services, from foreign exchange and insurance to asset and wealth management, Index is very excited to be part of an early stage investment in Robinhood (www.Robinhoodapp.com), an iOS (and soon, Android) app, which is transforming the way people invest in individual stocks.
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Everyone is rightly excited about the wall of amazing tech-enabled startups being born in Europe and Israel, disrupting massive industries including media, marketing, fashion, retail, travel, finance and transportation. However, there’s one incredibly disruptive startup based in London that is going after one of the biggest markets of all, and is so opaque it is largely unknown in the world of business – and, much to my chagrin, it’s also impossible to invest in.
As the European startup ecosystem matures, you would expect young entrepreneurs to enjoy ever-increasing access to useful advice from mentors, business leaders, experienced entrepreneurs, legal advisors and investors. Yet, surprisingly, we continue to come across founders who have made significant mistakes in their early capital raises that we suspect go against their own instincts and jeopardize the foundations of the businesses they are building.
Today, the majority of clinical trials that are run never report their results in a form that is accessible to the public.
In 2010, the thirtieth year of SoftBank’s existence, its founder Masayoshi Son outlined the company’s vision for the next 30 years. He first set the context by zooming out to talk about how the world and the needs of humanity would evolve over the next 300 years, and stated his firm objective for SoftBank to survive at least that long. And then, zooming back in, explained that in this context, having a 30-year plan was absolutely essential.
This morning Monsanto announced its acquisition of The Climate Corporation. Index Ventures led Climate’s seed round and co-led or participated in every round the company has raised since. We are enormously proud of what David Friedberg and his team have achieved.
There comes a time in the life-span of any large successful company when they consider an IPO. In fact, almost all of the technology companies, which we now consider to be great, such as ASOS, Google and Priceline, have 'gone public' en route to achieving that status.
Now, thanks to a combination of favourable market conditions and the underlying strength of the fundamentals in the technology sector, this is precisely the right moment for the next wave of potentially global businesses to be mulling over and preparing for the possibility of an IPO.
"The heresies of one age become, as they always do, the orthodoxies of the next.” So said Margaret Thatcher in 1979, but it could easily have been David Cameron at the Liaison Committee in Parliament yesterday. Whoever is in power, making Britain’s public services more efficient and effective means taking on the broken orthodoxy of Whitehall thinking.
It has often been said that one of the key features that distinguishes “big pharma” from biotech is access to the latest technological platforms to aid efficient drug discovery and development.