Meet Index Ventures' Masters of Scale

Sarah Cannon and Martin Mignot, partners at Index Ventures share why European founders are ditching their “US or nothing” mentality

This week’s podcast has a very international setup with two guests joining us from different sides of the world: Sarah Cannon is dialing in from New York City and Martin Mignot from his home in London. They are both partners at Index Ventures, one of the biggest Venture Capital firms that invested in Dropbox, Deliveroo, Skype and Slack - just to name a few. With over 10 billion euro under the current management, their fund oversees a portfolio of 160 companies from the US and Europe.

Started as a European based firm themselves Index Ventures has been in the US for almost a decade now and successfully operates with dual headquarters located in San Francisco and London. Sarah and Martin have helped numerous companies make that move as well and gathered enough knowledge on expanding a business across the Atlantic. They share how the mentality of founders has changed over the last couple of years in regard to expanding to the US market and why a lot of European startups are choosing to win the US remotely. 

And with aAnd with a lot of experience helping startups all over the world grow and expand, they both had a few advices up their sleeve for founders: from 1) how to build a reliable communication and maintain a culture within an international team to 2) how to navigate different regulation across the world and 3) how the landscape of investment changed during Covid-19 as well as how founders can benefit.

04:16: Why European founders are ditching their “US or nothing” mentality 
07:10: What’s required from startups to succeed in the US market 
08:52: Key learnings from Spotify & Co. of how to successfully expand abroad
11:03: “You have to have a solid culture before you export” 
16:12: What founders can learn from Index Ventures’ move to the US  
19:20: How the lockdown made it easier for companies to work on an global level 
22:11: Where to set up an office location in the US 
26:40: How investor benefited from the Covid-19 situation 
29:26: Beer Garden Break: How entrepreneurship culture has changed in Europe
36:25: How to adapt to a new business culture while expanding & scaling
38:30: “You can add a lot of value as a new entrant with a different perspective”  
44:32: Tool Box: “It’s all about the team!” 
47:03: Either-or-game: “You don’t learn when you are talking” 

Production: Regina Körner, Migo Fecke (professional-podcast.com); Dina Zhakupova