Martin was the first investor to believe in us. He's been of constant help, especially through his ability to read big market trends and contribute to our long term strategy.Will Shu,
CEO and Founder of Deliveroo
What will the city of the future look like?
Martin — First of all, there will be no cars allowed anywhere near the center. They’re inefficient, they take up too much space, and they cause congestion and pollution. It’s a massive waste of energy, and simply not the best way to get a lot of people moving throughout a confined space. Driving will be replaced by walking, cycling, e-scooters, and e-bikes that are enabled by technology and much more energy efficient. People will use smartphones, GPS, and sensors to share these vehicles, and cities will once again become delightful places to live. People will strive to get closer to the center.
If you could share one piece of advice with a founder, what would it be?
Martin — There is no one-size-fits-all. It's very easy to get drawn into advice and best practices like “this is how you should do it” and “there is only one way.” I don't think that's true. My sense from working with founders is that they are all so different. They have strong and weak points, but they are aware of what they are and aren't good at. Founders should try to find their own style in their own way and not necessarily follow what everyone tells them to do.
What’s it like to work for Index in Europe?
Martin — It's fun! First of all, it’s a very collaborative team. There are no sharp elbows and everyone is pushing for everyone else’s success. There’s a lot of respect, which I think is very important. The people here have a huge amount of passion and curiosity and treat venture as a calling. We all keep practicing and obsessing about our craft. There is this feeling of never saying no and always pushing to get better—better at finding companies, convincing entrepreneurs we are the best choice, working with entrepreneurs in good and bad times, and improving how we help entrepreneurs achieve their visions.
Martin focuses on startups that develop must-have products that improve with each additional user and operate in large markets like transportation, food, finance, health, and SME. Most of his initial investments are Seed and Series A. Since joining Index in 2010, Martin has spent a great deal of time and energy helping to build the Parisian ecosystem. He led the first institutional investment in a local startup network called TheFamily and currently sits on their advisory board. He also serves on the board of Drivy, KRY, Revolut, TheFamily, Trainline (following the acquisition of Captain Train) and previously SwiftKey (acquired by Microsoft in 2016).
Prior to Index, Martin was part of the TMT team at UBS Investment Bank and co-founded the beauty subscription business Boudoir Prive (acquired by Joliebox/Birchbox), as well as rsp.fm, a student web radio service. He regularly travels to the Nordics.