I love working with entrepreneurs who have a burning desire to change the world. To be part of that is inspiring.Paris Heymann,
Partner at Index Ventures
Paris joined Index in 2022, to help establish the firm’s New York office. He invests primarily in B2B SaaS, focusing on vertical and horizontal software companies which have meaningful end-user engagement, drive high customer utility, and aspire to be enduring, category-defining platforms.
Before joining Index, Paris was a Partner at Arena Holdings where he invested globally in private and public technology companies. He began his career at Bain Capital.
Paris holds a B.A. in Political Economy with honors from Williams College.
You’ve had a successful career as a public equity investor. What attracted you to become a venture investor?
PARIS – Before Index, I was a partner at Arena Holdings and an investment professional at Bain Capital. In those roles, it became clear to me that companies are growing faster than ever, sometimes reaching scale in only a few years or even months. Against this backdrop of rapid global innovation, I wanted to serve as a multi-stage investor and a partner for entrepreneurs as they navigate complex markets. Index has an incredible track record working with companies around the world, from seed through IPO and beyond. Joining an organization like that is an amazing opportunity.
You've led notable investments prior to joining Index in companies like Figma, ServiceTitan, and Celonis. What have you learned about scaling hyper-growth companies from these experiences?
PARIS – I’ve been fortunate to work with several category-defining companies. Hyper-growth at scale is not easy. It requires deep customer-centricity, a strong team, healthy culture, and a viable economic model. Among durably high-performing companies, I’ve noticed that they share one key thing in common—they embrace change, seeking to become the next, better version of themselves. They refuse to stay complacent.
What types of companies do you find most interesting?
PARIS – I founded and ran e-commerce businesses on the side while in high school. This opened my eyes to the power of the SaaS model because I relied on software providers for key functions like website building, logistics & fulfillment, and marketing. Because of those early experiences I’ve always gravitated towards B2B.
Today, I focus on both vertical and horizontal software. When evaluating SaaS 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.