Serial Investor Danny Rimer is Seeking the Next Skype, Etsy, or LoveFilm in Europe
Danny Rimer and his brothers Neil and David, as well as Giuseppe Zocco, founded venture capital firm Index Ventures in Switzerland in 1996. Rimer, and Index Ventures, are credited with investing in the likes of Skype, MySQL, Dropbox, Etsy, Flipboard, LoveFilm, and games company King which was sold to Activision in 2016 for $5.9 billion.
LoveFilm was acquired by Amazon in 2011 for $317 million, MySQL sold to Sun Microsystems in 2008 for $1 billion, and Skype was picked up by eBay in 2005 for $2.6 billion. These examples of Rimer’s success are just a few of many.
The Harvard University graduate in history and literature, born in Canada before moving to Switzerland, is reportedly worth $19 million. He’s also 3rd on the Forbes Midas List Europe: Top Tech Investors 2019.
His very latest investments, as per Forbes, have also performed well. A makeup start called Glossier has reached a value of $1 billion taking it to “unicorn” status. Design Tool Figma raised $40 million, and subscription platform Patreon has achieved $60 million in funding.
Research company Dealroom ranked Index Ventures as the top venture capital company in Europe in 2017. Just last year a poll by CB Insights and The New York Times put Index Ventures in the top ten of VC companies globally.
Rimer, as per Wired, is confident about Europe’s strength in sectors such as fintech and mobility, he says, “the reality is that there are so many pockets of opportunity, you just have to be open to it, and be aware of it.”
The technology investor says when he looks for a startup founder to back he looks for “outliers, folks who have been placed on this planet for what they’re building.” He adds,
“I really veer towards the obsessive type of person who’s been noodling in their head about this business since they’ve been a teenager.”Danny Rimer- Investor
Startup founders who have worked with Rimer are complementary. José Neves is CEO of luxury startup Farfetch. Rimer led Farfetch’s Series B funding round and Farfetch had other leading VCs bidding but Neves says the investor, “speaks to the entrepreneur with empathy, understands the journey and obviously has tremendous acumen and experience.” Neves adds that going with Rimer and Index Ventures “wasn’t a hard decision at all.”
Rimer believes a startup’s success depends on the founder’s ability to push through or even shift the focus of a company in order to win out. The examples he gives are Slack founder Stewart Butterfield whose initial focus was gaming. And Discord founder Jason Citron, who also began with a gaming startup.
The number of startups and technology startups in Europe is growing quickly, despite Brexit. There should be plenty of founders waiting to pitch to Rimer and Index.
In the UK, for example, the number of startups registered in 2018 grew by 5.7% to a record high of over 660,000.