Neil co-founded Index Ventures in Geneva in 1996.
His vision was to support the most ambitious entrepreneurs, bringing Silicon Valley-style investing to Europe at a time when “venture capital” was still a new term outside the US. As he recalled in a Financial Times interview: “We started every meeting with a slide that was literally ‘What is VC?’”
20 years on, while staying true to its European roots, Index has become one of the world’s leading venture capital firms, with principal offices in London and San Francisco. So far, the firm has raised $7.25 billion and has more than 160 companies in its portfolio.
Today, Neil works with entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic, among them the founders of Deliveroo, Funding Circle, Roblox and Typeform. He previously led Index investments in companies including Betfair, Climate, Supercell and Trello.
Born in Montreal, Neil graduated in History and Economics at Stanford, and gained an MBA from Harvard Business School. He spent four years with Montgomery Securities in San Francisco, and joined Index Securities in 1990 – the predecessor to Index Ventures. Neil is also on the board of the non-profit, non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch.
In his FT interview, Neil summed up his approach to investment. “We all exercise our brains as cynics every day, we’re all experts in what happens when things go wrong. But for me, the more valuable exercise is: What happens if it does work?”