Index Ventures first closing at $191 million

Swiss-based high tech and healthcare venture capital firm Index Ventures has secured $191 million in the first closing of its third fund Index Ventures II. The final target of Index Ventures II is $300 million. Index Ventures I was a $180 million fund and prior to that Index Ventures started out with a pilot fund of $17 million, which it started investing in April 1996. This fund, according to Giuseppe Zuko, a managing partner at Index Ventures, has returned over four times investors commitment already and the fund is still active.

Index Ventures I is close to being fully invested, if the segment allocated to follow on investments is included.

Fund I had a typical investment range of $5 million to $15 million, but this range broadens at both ends of the spectrum for Fund II, which will typically invest between $2 million and

$20 million. The drop to $2 million will enable the fund to invest in earlier stage companies than permitted by Index Ventures I. Zuko notes the reason for this partial change in emphasis is that there are “more interesting deals at the earlier stage than there were a couple of years ago.”

As with previous funds the high tech/ healthcare split will be 75:25, respectively, and geographic focus will remain throughout Europe with the possibility of Israeli and US investments.

Index Ventures I looks likely to be fully invested across a two-year time span, which began in March 1999. The time horizon for investing Index Ventures II could be as high as five years although Zuko anticipates it taking around two and a half years. High tech areas of investment interests currently reside around infrastructure, optical networking, storage, and delivering broad band to end-users. And in the field of life science/healthcare it is companies dealing with the cost of containment and genomics related areas.

Zuko expects Index Ventures II, which started fund raising after the summer last year, to close end of Q1 this year and notes the stamp of approval from returning investors, which includes Cisco, UBS Capital and Standard Life. New to Index Ventures are Oracle, Harbourvest and Lazard.

In addition Francesco De Rubertis, PhD has been promoted to become a partner at the firm. He joined Index Ventures in 1997 to build the firm’s life science investment practice.