Index raises €350m for fifth early stage fund

The European venture firm collected commitments from LPs in just three months for its latest early stage fund. It is the same size as its 2007 predecessor, which has been nearly fully deployed alongside a growth capital fund.

Index Ventures has closed Index Ventures V on target at €350 million, with most of the commitments coming from the firm's existing limited partner base.

Fundraising took just three months and Index did not use placement agents, Bernard Dallé, an Index partner said in an interview. He credited the firm's fundraising success with its operational efficiency and LP relationships.

This is the fifth early stage vehicle that Index has raised in the past 10 years, and is a return to the firm's traditional strategy of seed and early stage investment into the technology, biotechnology and clean technology markets. Last year Index deviated into the growth sphere with the close of a €400 million Index Ventures Growth Fund in January 2008, which was raised to compliment Index's last early stage fund, closed on  €350 million in February 2007. The two funds have been invested in tandem over the last 12 months and fund IV is now almost entirely invested, Dallé said.

Past Index LPs include Finama Private Equity, HarbourVest Partners, SVG Capital and Horsley Bridge Partners.

The firm recently invested €15 million into German matchmaking site be2; €17 million into online games company Playfish; €15 million into Israeli genealogy website MyHeritage; and $12.5 million into US- and UK-based social network WooMe. Index will continue to focus its investment across a wide range of countries when investing Fund V, it said.

Index recently promoted Ben Holmes, a London-based member of the technology team since 2002, to partner. He will continue to focus on investment in consumer and internet infrastructure companies. Tony Zappala and Roman Fleck have also been promoted to become principals in the information technology and biotech teams, respectively.

Index, which has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey, has been active in technology venture investing since 1996. In January last year it exited its investment in database business MySQL for $1 billion, along with fellow investors Balderton Capital and Benchmark Capital.