Martin was the first investor to believe in us. He's been of constant help, especially through his ability to read big market trends and contribute to our long term strategy.Will Shu,
CEO and Founder of Deliveroo
Martin established Index’s New York office in 2022, moving from London to help European founders and companies launch in the US, as well as guide those expanding from America to Europe. He is deeply passionate about early-stage companies, and since joining Index in 2010, has helped the likes of Deliveroo, Captain Train/Trainline and Drivy/Getaround on their journey from seed to IPO, as well as other European breakout successes like Personio, Revolut or Swile from their early days.
Martin invests in products that leverage new technologies to save time and money for people and companies, while improving with every new user that engages with them. In his personal life, Martin loves cities and urban design and is an active anti-car campaigner through his Happy Streets foundation.
Prior to joining Index, Martin was part of the TMT team at UBS Investment Bank and co-founded the beauty subscription business Boudoir Prive (acquired by Joliebox/Birchbox) with his wife, as well as http://rsp.fm, a student web radio service.
What will the city of the future look like?
Martin — First of all, there will be no cars allowed anywhere near the center. They’re inefficient, they take up too much space, and they cause congestion and pollution. It’s a massive waste of energy, and simply not the best way to get a lot of people moving throughout a confined space. Driving will be replaced by walking, cycling, e-scooters, and e-bikes that are enabled by technology and much more energy efficient. People will use smartphones, GPS, and sensors to share these vehicles, and cities will once again become delightful places to live. People will strive to get closer to the center.
If you could share one piece of advice with a founder, what would it be?
Martin — There is no one-size-fits-all. It's very easy to get drawn into advice and best practices like “this is how you should do it” and “there is only one way.” I don't think that's true. My sense from working with founders is that they are all so different. They have strong and weak points, but they are aware of what they are and aren't good at. Founders should try to find their own style in their own way and not necessarily follow what everyone tells them to do.
What’s it like to work for Index in Europe?
Martin — It's fun! First of all, it’s a very collaborative team. There are no sharp elbows and everyone is pushing for everyone else’s success. There’s a lot of respect, which I think is very important. The people here have a huge amount of passion and curiosity and treat venture as a calling. We all keep practicing and obsessing about our craft. There is this feeling of never saying no and always pushing to get better—better at finding companies, convincing entrepreneurs we are the best choice, working with entrepreneurs in good and bad times, and improving how we help entrepreneurs achieve their visions.