Paris at TechCrunch Early Stage 2024

Paris with Sam Perkins and Aidan Dewar, two of the Nourish co-founders.

Biography In Conversation

Paris joined Index in 2022, to help establish the firm’s New York office. He focuses primarily on software, data, and AI companies across both horizontal and vertical markets.

Before joining Index, Paris was a Partner at Arena Holdings where he invested globally in private and public technology companies including Celonis, Databricks, Figma, and ServiceTitan, among others. He began his career at Bain Capital within the North American Private Equity group.

Paris holds a B.A. in Political Economy with honors from Williams College.

What types of companies do you find most interesting?

PARIS – I’ve long admired businesses which aspire to be market leaders and set the tone for the rest of the industry. When evaluating companies, I’m always thinking about how they can have meaningful end-user engagement, drive high utility, and become category-defining platforms over time. 

What is the latest technology development you’re most excited about?

PARIS – I’ve been reading everything I can on machine learning and AI. I feel like we’re still at the earliest stages of consumer adoption. The most well-resourced tech giants are only just beginning to introduce AI and intelligent automation features to customers. I expect that we will see a lot more innovation in these areas moving forward.

You are a native New Yorker – how has the tech and venture ecosystem evolved over the years?

PARIS – For a long time, New York was known for its B2C tech scene – especially in media, e-commerce, and fintech – but over the past few years, there’s been amazing momentum on the B2B side. NYC is home to public companies like Datadog as well as fast-growing private companies like Celonis. It’s exciting to see the city now becoming a leader in B2B SaaS.

You grew up playing chess. What has chess taught you about investing?

PARIS – I played scholastic chess and, for a very brief time, was the top-ranked player in the U.S. for my age. It was incredible competing across the country and I’m still applying the lessons I learned from that experience today.

Chess players are trained to visualize games many moves in advance, which is a skill also required to be a great investor. Good investors can effectively assess companies, industries, and markets as they are today, but the best investors have the foresight to predict where the world is going in the future. Both disciplines require combining left and right brain thinking.

What is your favorite book?

PARIS – I’m a bookworm – there’s no way I could choose a single favorite! But if I had to limit myself to one author, it would be Hemingway. His writing is flawless.

Coffee or tea?

PARIS – I have to go with coffee, for sure. I believe it was the filmmaker David Lynch who said: “But even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

PARIS – The best advice I’ve ever received is to stay focused because chance favors the prepared mind.