Robin Klein allies with Index Ventures in next Venture Partner role



The Accelerator Group continues to power ahead but ties with Index Ventures are becoming tighter.  Robin Klein is joining his son Saul as Venture Partner at Index to run what is now formally known as "Index Seed".

Index Ventures has been doing seed forever and it's always been part of its DNA.  As many firms have been more aggressively branding their seed initiatives (e.g. Polaris Dogpatch Labs) I suspect they have been thinking about a way to make that program more explicit, and what better opportunity than this.  If you are truly investing in early stage it's difficult not to do so without a cultural DNA that suits seed investing too.

Robin indicated a pace of 20 deals over 2 years with a range of $50K-$1M+.   That is more aggressive than what we are considering; the Atlas Venture seed program targets approximately 20 deals but over the investment period (i.e. 4 years) with an average so far (we have done 4 in the new fund) of $500K. This is coherent since they have dedicated talent looking after the seed initiative now, whilst we do it ourselves.

I have been very fortunate over the past few years to spend quality time with Robin Klein (particularly on Zoopla), who I have to say makes early-stage a pleasure.  Robin is a real gentleman, can be tough when he needs to be and has an incredible ability to deliver value to his fairly extensive portfolio.  He is the real deal and I am in no doubt that he will continue to be very successful going forward with the Index affiliation.

Robin acted as a Venture Partner for Atlas Venture over the last few years.  We worked closely together on Zoopla, and it's been just … great.  A privilege.  Saul and I have interacted fairly extensively through Seedcamp and the Seedcamp board of directors.   This father-son combo is truly explosive, both because they complement each other so well and because they have maintained a perfect level of confidentiality and professionalism throughout.

PS: also note the smart new marketing aspect (from Mr OpenCoffee and Seedcamp, one should always expect smart positioning ideas):  the notion of "fellow traveller".   Now whether you are entrepreneur, angel, venture capitalist or all of the above does not matter.  Whether you are Europe, Americas, Asia or Africa does not matter.  you can just be a "fellow traveller" on the path to creating companies.  It's again very smart, particularly when you are delicately trying to balance the sometimes conflicting roles of angel and venture capitalist.  I like it.

The Accelerator Group Picture

Covered elsewhere:

– Hear it from Robin directly

-  Or hear it from Saul at Index

 Techcrunch and TC Europe

– Follow @indexseed

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2 Responses to Robin Klein allies with Index Ventures in next Venture Partner role

  1. Fred – when did you guys launch the Atlas Venture Seed Program? Didn’t hear anything about it and a Google search doesn’t bring up anything. Is it something that’s not formally announced?

    Also any comments on the “signaling problem” of entrepreneurs taking seed money from VC funds? i.e. it might make follow-on financing difficult if for any reason the original VC passes on the deal.

  2. Robin Klein says:

    Thanks for this post, Fred. I would jump at the opportunity of working with you on any new ventures and don’t hesitate to recommend you to entrepreneurs.
    You’re a true fellow traveller embarked on a similar destination …….