Ari Helgason

Ari Helgason

With Joris Van Der Gucht of Silverfin

Ari has been a close and supportive partner, helping us scale. He brings a sound expertise in how to build fast-growing enterprise companies in Europe to become global leaders.
Pedro Bados,

CEO and Founder of Nexthink

In Conversation

How has your background as an entrepreneur shaped you as an investor?

ARI – Building a company from scratch is probably one of the hardest things you can do professionally. Having been through the ups and downs of it myself, building software with almost no budget, trying to convince investors they should trust us to deliver, hiring a team on the back of a promise and little cash, and attempting to lead and inspire the team, even when full of doubts, I really empathise with founders. Maybe it’s because of my own experience, and watching my brothers who also started businesses of their own, that I get so much satisfaction from being in the room and helping others make it happen. I’m trying to be the partner to them I wish I’d had on my own journey.

Does your love of travel influence how you approach investing?

ARI - I am one of three brothers, part of a big Icelandic family, born in Reykjavik. I grew up in Denmark and we moved around a lot, spending time across the Nordics, but also in Italy and the UK. It was a real gift. Every move has opened up a whole new world. Being exposed to so many cultures and learning new languages fills you with curiosity about why the world works the way it does, what drives people, what makes them different. I always felt like the outsider looking in, but I loved it, and I think it’s this perspective that I find really helpful when investing -- stepping back and thinking about why the world is as it is and what it could be.

How do you see software reshaping industries?

ARI – Software is transforming the global economy in a way that’s hard to keep up with. Collaboration software has made it possible to live and work anywhere in the world. Just this development will have a profound impact in how people live as it becomes easier to have a career outside big cities, work while travelling. When I started my company I bought a couple of servers, drove down to a data center and installed them. Then we had to build a bunch of infrastructure before we could start working on the app itself. Now developer tools, APIs are proliferating meaning that you can build things super fast. This has been really exciting to watch.

Ari is a former entrepreneur who has operated companies in London, New York and San Francisco. He’s excited about the way software fundamentally reshapes industries and his investment focus is on SaaS, developer tools and open source across all stages. Because of his entrepreneurial background he especially enjoys working with founders as they navigate the early stages of scaling a business.

Before joining Index, Ari was at Dawn Capital in London where he invested in and worked with SaaS and open source companies in Europe and the US. Prior to that, Ari co-founded SaaS workflow management company WOAH Sales and ecommerce startup Fabricly—the former right out of university.

Ari holds a B.Sc. in international relations (first class) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is an alumnus of Y Combinator and regularly spends time in San Francisco and New York.

Ari has worked with leaders at ClauseMatch, Nexthink, and Silverfin.