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Index expands to London

Index Ventures, the Swiss-based technology investor, is expanding its operations by recruiting a new partner to establish a London office. Danny Rimer, the fourth Rimer brother at Index, joins from US venture capital firm, the Barksdale Group. Having closed its third fund this summer, Index Ventures now has $500 million under management, which it invests throughout Europe in technology and biotech start-ups. Neil Rimer, brother to Danny, established the company in 1992 with Giuseppe Zocco.

Bernard Dalle, partner at Index Ventures, said: “We believe London is an important hub for entrepreneurial relationships and the venture capital community. Having an office there will help us expand our already strong deal flow.” He continued by saying Geneva, where the firm has 10 investment professionals, made an effective base from which to cover the continent, but having an office in London would enable the company to further develop opportunities in the UK and Ireland. There are currently no plans for any other offices.

Index hopes to build a London-based team of around three investment professionals and two support staff in the next 18 months. At present, the company has two UK-based investments; Flutter, which merged with Betfair in December to form a larger betting exchange, and Mediasurface, a web content management company. Dalle anticipates between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of Index’s current $300 million fund will be invested in the UK. “As Index Ventures continues to pursue world class technology opportunities in Europe, the need to expand our coverage as well as our leadership team is mission-critical,” said Giuseppe Zocco, general partner, Index Ventures.

Danny Rimer’s role as general partner with the Menlo Park-based Barksdale Group ties in well with the theme at Index, which subscribes to the Californian venture capital investment philosophy. Jim Barksdale, general partner of the Barksdale Group and former Netscape CEO, said he saw Rimer’s move as a natural transition. The US VC, set up in 1999 to focus on Internet applications and infrastructure, recently announced it is winding down, two of the other partners are set to join General Atlantic Partners.

Danny Rimer has been on Index’s IT advisory board since 1998, offering advice on issues such as sharpening the group’s investment focus. While with Barksdale he worked on investments including CrossGain, myCFO, Moxi Digital, Neoteris, Ofoto, Slam Dunk Networks, TellMe and ViAir. Prior to this, he headed the Chase H&Q Internet research and investment banking group. He will continue as an advisory director to JP Morgan. Zocco said: “Danny has extensive knowledge and experience in technology investing, a demonstrated ability to add value to portfolio companies and a deep network of contacts on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Index simultaneously announced that Anil Pereira, senior vice president and group general manager of the enterprise and service provider division of VeriSign, a US-based provider of digital trust services, has joined its advisory board. Pereira brings experience of IT-related security issues. He joins the 12 existing board members who advise Index on both the IT and biotechnology industries, monitoring trends, refining investment focus, reviewing investment opportunities and assisting portfolio companies. Fellow members include Mike Volpi of Cisco Systems, Thomas Kurian of Oracle and Barry Appelman, CTO of America Online who joined in November.