LocalGlobe cofounder Saul Klein.
Index Ventures has lost two tech investors to LocalGlobe — the venture capital company set up by former Index Ventures partner Saul Klein and his father Robin Klein.
Ophelia Brown, a principal at Index Ventures and former Goldman Sachs associate, and George Henry de Frahan, a business development employee at Index Ventures, now work at LocalGlobe as general partner and early stage investor respectively, according to CrunchBase.
Klein told Business Insider: “We obviously knew George well as he was Robin’s associate working on seed and services to the founder community. He joined us last summer as a principal as has already led several deals [that are] to be announced. We also knew Ophelia well working with her closely on Osper, among others. She wanted the next step in her career to be part of the start of a brand new venture and we’re excited she chose to join us as a general partner at LocalGlobe to do that.”
Index Ventures has raised $5.82 billion (£4.13 billion) since it was founded in 1996 and backed Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Dropbox, as well as fast-growing London startups like Citymapper, Deliveroo, and TransferWise.
A spokesman for Index Ventures said: “We have very close personal and business ties with LocalGlobe through Saul and Robin. George was already working with Robin at Index, and continued working with him when he started LocalGlobe.
“After four years at Index and working with entrepreneurs every day, Ophelia wanted to be at the start of something new.
“We were sad to see her go, but happy that she’s stayed within the extended family. Many of our team have been founders themselves and would tell you that we would be the last to stand in the way of someone wanting to be part of the founding team of a new venture.”
Ophelia Brown is a general partner at LocalGlobe.
The LocalGlobe team also includes: former Accenture management consultant and LSE graduate, Ben Grabiner (company builder and early stage investor); Harvard Business School graduate and head of product at Wonga, Tara Reeves (company builder and early stage investor) and Royal Holloway graduate Emma Phillips (operations manager).
LocalGlobe has raised a £45 million seed fund from corporates, university endowments, strategic investors, and other sources. “Several of them are investors in Index or Accel,” said Klein.
LocalGlobe’s team of seven is based out of an office in King’s Cross, London, and the team have been “keeping their heads down” since launching last September, according to Klein.
The fund will be used to invest predominantly in London startups over the next two to three years.
“We were excited to double down on an opporutiny [sic] we’ve been tracking or involved in for 15 years or more,” said Klein. “We think London and the UK are now at a point where we are able to build globally important businesses. Last Minute, TransferWise, TweetDeck. We’ve noticed that companies of that scale used to come around every three to four years in London; they’re now coming round once a quarter or once a month.”
Klein posted a blog post on Medium on Wednesday titled “12 reasons to be excited about London.” The post highlights why “London is now so firmly on the map for startups and scale-ups alike.”
Approximately 85% of the fund will go to startups in London, said Klein, while a small number of investments will also be made in companies across the UK and Europe. LocalGlobe announced on Wednesday, for example, that it was investing in overseas tech talent hiring website Jobbatical.
Klein said he expects LocalGlobe will use the £45 million fund to make around 35 investments in London startups and 15 investments in companies outside the UK capital. He added that LocalGlobe is looking for the “right surfers” that are riding “big waves.”
Klein added that he and LocalGlobe have a good relationship with Index Ventures, despite taking some of Index’s employees and tapping up some of Index’s investors.
“We are really very much part of an extended family with Index and continue to have very strong ties,” he said. “Both Robin and I are still active on several boards and with the founders of Index investments like Citymapper, Codecademy, Chartbeat, Myheritage, Myoptique, Seedcamp, Socialbakers, TransferWise and others, plus we are actively looking at deals together and have already made one (unannounced) co-investment together.”