July 21, 2024

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The VC behind Mistral, Revolut and Slack just raised $2.3 billion to invest in long-term AI champions: ‘The era of the quick buck mentality is over’

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Index Ventures has worked with a long list of companies that have become mainstays in the tech world. Think fintech giants Revolut and Wise, public transit app Citymapper and food delivery mainstay Deliveroo. 

Now, the London-based venture capital fund has raised $2.3 billion from investors to capitalize on the recent surge of AI companies in Europe and beyond, Index announced on Wednesday.

“We’re just beginning to see where AI can make a difference,” Hannah Seal, partner at Index Ventures, told Fortune Wednesday. “That’s why this is so timely because this is the point at which we really see AI, especially in the application layer, starting to come to fruition.”

Seal said AI sees new opportunities in industries like healthcare, hospitality, and education, and historically, “uninvestable” sectors that have opened up thanks to AI.   

The VC firm, which has offices in London, San Francisco, and New York, will dedicate $800 million of the new capital towards its venture funds and $1.5 billion to growth funds. 

Index is no stranger to investing in AI companies. Last year, it was among French startup Mistral’s backers in a $113 million funding round, which increased Mistral’s valuation to €240 million ($260 million). Now, it is Europe’s most valuable AI company at €6 billion ($6.5 billion). Scale AI and Wordsmith are also among Index’s other investments.

To be sure, Index’s funds won’t be devoted only to AI companies, although they will be a big focus. 

The fresh capital comes just as the VC industry starts to see early signs of recovering from the spigots running dry over the last few years, balancing out the tech investment spree during the pandemic. For instance, earlier this year, Andreessen Horowitz, a prominent Silicon Valley VC player, announced $7.2 billion in new funding. 

“The era of the quick buck mentality is over, and there’s a lot of focus on building long-term enduring companies,” Seal…

Prarthana Prakash

2024-07-10 07:12:02

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