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Index Ventures

into Europe
A guide for
US entrepreneurs
Index Ventures
Technology will have a profound impact
on every aspect of our lives. What we
have seen to date is just the beginning.  
We are a venture capital firm spanning
the US and European startup ecosystems.
The entrepreneurs we work with are
creating the next generation of iconic
companies, and include luminaries such
as Pieter van der Does (Adyen), Drew
Houston (Dropbox), Samir Desai (Funding
Circle), Ilkka Paananen (Supercell) and
Stewart Butterfield (Slack). 
Our eclectic experience, insatiable
curiosity, and unique point of view are
driven by a common purpose – to make
a positive contribution to the world.
We love the process of exploring and
understanding entrepreneurs’ ambitions
– from seed, to venture, to growth. We
help to harness and focus their energy,
expand to the next level, and bring their
visions to life.
We only back the hungriest and most
aspirational startups. If you feel ready to
join our international network of founders,
investors, creators and operators call us,
and let’s begin the conversation.

April 2017
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Contents 3

1. The Index Ventures experience 4 3. Where to set up 17 7. Where next? 35

Our unique insight 5 Where and why? 18 A single hub or multiple offices? 36
Successful expansions 5 Target companies to hire from 18 Strategy and timeline 36
Why Europe? 7 Who can help? 18 How fast is too fast? 36
Timing and opportunity 7 The political climate: 18
Paradigms from our portfolio 7 In the wake of Brexit 8. Team culture 37
The significance of International 7 Clustering significance 19
Keeping your team connected 38
Location rankings 19
Decisions and reporting 38
2. Hiring: who, when, how? 8 London 20
Maintaining culture across continents 38
Dublin 22
Making that first key hire 9
Amsterdam 24
Experience or potential? 9 9. The nuts and bolts of legal 39
Berlin 25
Do you need a captain or a player? 9
Data and privacy 40
The ideal profile 9
4. Selling 26 The state of affairs in Europe 40
What can you expect? 11
Regulation 40
What will they expect? 11 Strategy and segmentation 27
Stock option planning 41
Onboarding 11 Language: Is English enough? 27
Office space 41
A landing team. Yea or nay? 11 Compensation and ramp up 27
The right advice 41
Let’s talk money 11 What’s different in Europe? 27
Legal 41
The search process 11 Paradigms from our portfolio 28
Visas 41
Recommended recruiters 11 Getting to grips: Germany, France, Spain 28
Accounting 42
Scaling up your team 12 Banking 42
5. Localisation 29
Who’s responsible? 12
Speed or caution? 12 What does localisation mean? 30 10. Case studies from the 43
The recruitment process 12 How to get local 30 Index family
Order of hires 13 Translation terrors 30
Anki 44
Values, fit and culture 13 Processing payments 30
Dropbox 47
Onboarding, induction and training 13 Contracts 30
Elastic 49
Human Resources and management 13
Etsy 51
Stock Options 13 6. Marketing 31
Outbrain 54
Hiring across geographies 14 Central or distributed? 32 Squarespace 57
Labour law legalese 14 Marketing collateral 32 Stack Overflow 59
On maternity leave 14 Online marketing 32 Zendesk 61
Employment law 15 PR and launch 32
Events 33 Appendix 64
Hires 33
Company profiles 65
Who can help and how? 33
Directory of resources 67
Product and Engineering 34 Acronym glossary 68
The European role in product 34 Thank you 69
Engineering teams in Europe 34 Contact 70
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The Index Ventures experience 4

1 The Index
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The Index Ventures experience 5

Our unique insight Successful expansions
This handbook will help you internationalise Thirty one Index Ventures backed 1 EMEA HQ
from the US to Europe. It’s packed with companies have successfully set up in
useful information to get started, quotes Europe. 16 have EMEA HQs in London.
from people who have successfully Five in Amsterdam. Four in Dublin.
made the transition, and a selection The other six are based in Zurich, Paris,
of case studies. Brussels, Edinburgh, Stuttgart and
Cambridge. Cambridge
Working in Europe is not just about 1 EMEA HQ
work. It’s about identity, tradition, style,
provenance, and socialisation that Amsterdam
revolves around food and drink. You will 5 EMEA HQs
need to learn the nuances of different
cultures and languages which – despite
globalisation – influence everything from
communicating brand, to recruitment, to
marketing, to legal issues.
The companies we invest in span multiple
sectors and go-to-market models, including
Enterprise Sales, Inside Sales, B2C,
Business Services, Adtech, hardware,
infrastructure and Fintech. While startups
also hire developers or development teams
in Europe, we have primarily focused on Dublin
commercially oriented expansion. 4 EMEA
And to help you get up to speed with the HQs
jargon, we include an acronym glossary
covering US and European terminology
on page 140.



Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The Index Ventures experience 6

London HQ Amsterdam HQ

Dublin HQ

Zurich HQ Paris HQ

Brussels HQ Stuttgart HQ

Cambridge HQ Edinburgh HQ
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The Index Ventures experience 7

Why Europe? Paradigms from our Squarespace
Squarespace had been operating as a small
The significance of
Europe has 750 million consumers,
portfolio business in New York for seven years International
mature innovation markets, and a love of before taking venture capital investment.
Etsy This changed the scope and scale of the For some companies, internationalisation
new technology. There is a tremendous After a $40M fundraise, they expanded is a key part of overall strategy and the
opportunity to do business in Europe and business and in 2013 they expanded
to gain a considerable footprint in the to a Dublin office to effectively support Chief Executive Officer, Head of Sales, or
it’s a well-trodden path for US companies. UK, Canada and Australia. Etsy’s strategy Head of International may play a pivotal
was to establish international markets by role in the region. For other companies,
Timing and opportunity connecting local sellers to local buyers. Zendesk International can be seen as a bonus in
Zendesk first built out a London office for the first few years.
Mature US tech companies typically Dropbox Sales and Customer Support, then set up
make 30% of their revenues from When Dropbox decided to focus on the Dublin office. The European offices
Europe, so expansion is a question Enterprise clients, they already had a helped service global customers by taking “It can take time for a
of – not if, but when. huge freemium user base in Europe, advantage of time differences. Local US HQ to register how
and the team knew that their second Account Managers were better able to
Internationalisation most commonly
office would have to be there to continue help prospective customers trial and buy meaningful your market is.
becomes a strategic priority for
companies post-B funding rounds.
scaling their customer base. the software. Once the EMEA revenues
Companies sometimes work backwards
Elastic Stack Overflow
become a significant
from a potential IPO date, allowing three
years to build out reasonable European
Founded in Amsterdam, raised money As the Stack Overflow Q&A platform portion of global business,
in the US, Elastic was a distributed team
coverage. They will already have European
from the start. They set up a UK entity in
grew, the company launched Stack attitudes change.”
customers serviced out of the US, or a Overflow Talent (originally named
their first year of operation because they Careers) - a platform designed to fix the
flow of Inbound Sales opportunities, so Stuart Collingwood
made a key senior hire in London. broken developer hiring process, and
they need to assess the opportunities GM, EMEA, Anki
and risks of expanding. help software engineers find better jobs.
Pure Storage Stack Overflow raised Series B funding,
Pure Storage invested heavily in Europe and set their sights on international “At the time Zendesk in the
Increasing sales
to scale out fast and to be first-mover growth; expanding to Europe to enter
Roll out a successful sales approach
building out a network of channel new markets. US was focused on scaling,
across Europe to sustain and extend your
revenue growth.
partners. Within a year they grew to 120 and Europe was seen as a
employees with $40 million in revenues
and opened offices in Paris, Amsterdam, “Before making the leap bonus rather than a core
Land grab
Expand quickly to take control of new
Frankfurt, Munich, Milan, Johannesburg
to Europe, make sure that part of the strategy.”
and Moscow.
markets before competitors.
International expansion Matt Price
Servicing customers is a significant long-term Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
Take advantage of time differences company goal.”
and offer 24/7 support to international
customers. Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 8

2 Hiring: who,
when, how?
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 9

Who you choose to lead your European The ideal profile
Making that team will be crucial to the success
or failure of your business. They will
“If you hire someone with
less experience they will Don’t compromise on entrepreneurialism

first key hire represent your company, attract the best
hires, build a stellar roster of clients, and
execute your go-to-market plan. Invest
need to be supported with
skills and local resources.
or culture fit, but you may have to settle
for someone without the scale or sector
experience because European talent
time in finding the right person who can They don’t know what they pools are thinner than the US.
build strong relationships.
don’t know. For example, It can be tempting to hire candidates
Experience or potential? tackling employment from larger companies like Google,
issues in France, or data Salesforce, Oracle and IBM. However,
make sure your candidate has had startup
Hire a Senior Leader. Ideally someone protection in Germany.” experience and is a hunter - not a farmer.
who has built a company or led a
In the beginning, leading Europe involves
European business. He or she will set Simon Edelstyn a lot of hustling and doing the job solo, so
your hiring bar, and speed up your route Former MD Europe, Outbrain your candidate needs to be comfortable
to market using existing connections
with that.
within the industry. There is a definable
cohort of a few hundred individuals who Do you need a captain or Depending on sector, you may look for
have experience expanding US software a candidate who has lead large Sales
businesses into Europe, many of them
a player? teams, or a candidate with more of a
making a career out of doing just this. product or marketing background. There
Larger companies with IPO aspirations
is no ideal single profile.
Culture fit will be critical. If you can’t find an tend to go for General Managers or
experienced candidate you feel comfortable Country Managers, while others may
with, a rising star could be an alternative. To prefer a Vice President Sales to execute
offset the risk, recruit a senior Board advisor on a European go-to-market strategy. “Ask yourself – what will
within the country to help with connections, More cautious or less well-funded the region look like in
relationships and advice. companies may take a more incremental
approach, hiring a junior individual to test
a year? If you’re testing
the waters, but hedging your bets in this product market fit, you
“How people negotiate way simply slows you down. need a sales person. If your
their package will give A General Manager or Country Manager headcount will exceed 30
you an indication of their will be given more autonomy and control
people, you need a GM.”
over part of the strategy and local
readiness. For instance, if financials.
Daniel Hyde
pension is a priority they CEO, Erevena
may be better off at a
bigger company.”
Kevin Kimber
Former VP EMEA, Zuora
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 10

From the 31 Index Portfolio 6 companies hired senior
companies who expanded Sales roles.
from US to Europe: The rest of the companies
The first hire made for the hired for Customer Success,
company had on average more junior Sales roles, or
13 years of work experience Marketing.
before joining.
10 companies hired MD/GM/
CM roles from the outset.
The average years of
work experience for these
candidates was 18, the
minimum being 10 and
maximum being 26.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 11

What can you expect? Onboarding The search process Recommended recruiters
Before making the hire, ask candidates Your General Manager should spend as Search within your networks first, then try For General Manager and Vice President
to design a business plan. This will give much time as possible ramping up at a European recruiter. Most will be based candidates talk to:
you an idea of their vision and capability. HQ after being hired. Involve them in out of London with access to further
Speak to people who have worked with the business so they get a feel for your markets. Make sure the recruiter maps 360 Leaders
them. If you have doubts, reach out to us operations and culture, and can build out the potential candidate pool and be B2C & B2B: Ben Markland
for advice. relationships with the rest of your team. clear about which cities to search in. B2B: Jerry Maynard
Look to your General Manager for A good recruiter will provide calibration
European strategy, and input into the A landing team. candidates within a week, and a shortlist
B2B: Dan Hyde
broader budget and timelines. Hire for Yea or nay? of at least five people within a month to
local impact. Find someone who has the six weeks. This should include three who
UP Group
profile or the business relationships that Sending a landing team over from the US fit the brief and two wildcards – perhaps
B2C: Clare Johnston
will help you succeed. can have several advantages including a rising star with the ability to step up, or
building shared values, market credibility, someone without domain expertise.
Gillamor Stephens
What will they expect? and short-term cost savings. However, Take into account negotiation time and B2B: Steve Lavelle
you may lose out on a regional go-to- notice periods, which are between one
An experienced candidate will want market strategy, and will not have the and three months in Europe. This means Renaissance Leadership
chemistry with the Chief Executive local connections required to build out that your hire may not start for four to B2B: Sebastian Kayll
Officer. They will want to know how your business. six months.
much support they will get from HQ: Is We recommend hiring a local European True Search
the HQ team aware of ramp up times Leader and sending supporting team Andrew Banks
and budgets? How does the product members from HQ.
“It’s unusual for a GM hire
roadmap relate to Europe? Will European to be a purely search hire.
customers be able to speak to security “Companies increasingly
and data teams at HQ? And how many Let’s talk money More often, it’s someone
want to buy from product
HQ teams will be available during known through networks.”
European working hours? General Manager or Vice President people – not Sales people.
Sales roles are typically $350K for an Stuart Collingwood Your Leader should have a
experienced candidate. The range is GM EMEA, Anki
“The best GM EMEA $200K-$450K based on experience. deep understanding of the
candidates in Enterprise
Compensation is generally split 65/35 product positioning and
between base and bonus for General “It’s important that the roadmap for Europe.”
Sales are in high demand Manager roles and 50/50 for Vice
ultimate decision maker
President Sales roles. Candidates will
and get head-hunted expect options and will have a good in the US is the person Jerry Maynard
every week.” understanding of them. Offers vary leading the search. This
Director, 360 Leaders
widely, but for post-B the average is
Jerry Maynard 0.3-0.45%. We can talk through your could be the CEO or CRO.”
Director, 360 Leaders individual circumstances.
Daniel Hyde
CEO, Erevena
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 12

Who’s responsible?
Scaling up The hiring plan for the rest of the European
“It depends how much
the firm wants to invest.
“It’s all about relationships.
I joined the company
your team team should be the responsibility of the
General Manager or Local Leader. He or
she needs to decide with input from HQ,
I’ve lead teams where we
had to meet $1.5 million
because I knew Matt the
GM EMEA, and he joined
what roles are needed and how best to targets per region before because he knew Zac the
hire for them. hiring new people, and COO. When expanding
Many companies operate a matrix other teams where we into new countries, hiring
structure, where employees report
into Europe but also have a dotted line
scaled up faster.” people you know and trust
to HQ. If so, local hires should also be Steven Rose
helps a lot.”
interviewed by their functional Leaders Former VP EMEA, Pure Storage
in the US. This will ensure culture fit. Maeve Hurley
VP Finance and Operations, Zendesk
Balancing input from HQ with local
Stuart Collingwood leading Anki Europe
autonomy to the European Leader
took another tack, choosing to work solo Hiring profiles and playbooks are usually
is a tricky task. Ultimately, it depends
for the first year while he got to grips with modelled on the US versions with some
on building a good relationship, great
the business and scouted out key hires. amendments for local flavour.
communication, and frequent travel
to and fro. Keep in mind that your hires will usually
“Living with a startup for have notice periods and it will take
Speed or caution? a period is critical before several months before they can begin
work. The more senior your hires, the
You need to strike the right balance ramping up. You’ve got to longer their notice periods will be.
of building momentum without losing understand the business
control, and the pace of hiring will depend
on objectives, sector, levels of funding from end-to-end first.” “It’s difficult to tell your
and commitment to growth.
Stuart Collingwood US team that you’ve found
Pure Storage with Steven Rose at the
helm invested heavily to scale fast and
GM EMEA, Anki this great person, but
grew to 120 people within 18 months. it will take three or six
The recruitment process months to get them in –
Ideally, your General Manager will have and that’s the norm!”
a number of candidates willing to follow
him or her into your company. Rely on Stuart Collingwood
networks as much as possible as you did GM EMEA, Anki
in the US to build out the highest quality,
most dedicated talent pool.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 13

Order of hires “We would fly new Human Resources and “Outbrain was good
While this will depend very heavily on your
European hires to London management at understanding
business model and strategy here is a for training where they A local Human Resources function gives
geographical nuances
common order of hires we have seen: would meet department employees someone to talk to in their and what attracts the
1 Key local hire heads and socialise office. One-to-one video calls with HQ right people. You need to
2 Sales are not enough to manage personnel
3 Sales Engineers
over dinner. This helped problems that inevitably arise. If you account for the benefits
4 Professional Services everyone feel a part of don’t tackle these issues early on, they European Leaders will
can grow into bigger problems. The local
Customer Success
Operations/Office Management
something bigger than Human Resources manager will also be
7 Marketing themselves.” heavily involved in recruiting, so they
Lindsey Dale
should have blended experience. If you
Companies often regret not investing in Lindsey Dale HR Consultant, Outbrain
cannot justify a full-time or permanent
marketing resource in Europe earlier. HR Consultant, Outbrain hire, consider hiring a consultant.

Values, fit and culture “Experienced candidates
“Induction should happen Stock options have a detailed awareness
Remote offices can dilute company in the US. You are selling Below the Leadership layer there are about stock options
culture. Make sure European hiring
managers screen candidates with your the US HQ as much as you limited expectations for receiving options, especially if they have
and you rarely need to offer stock to close
company values in mind. HQ employees are selling your product, so a hire. Most companies give stock to worked at a US startup
should interview European candidates all your employees should employees if this is their US policy, but before. As companies
for cultural fit. it may be reduced for Europe. This can
live your brand.” feel culturally challenging, but it’s a
grow and get closer to
Onboarding, induction Kevin Kimber pragmatic solution. IPO, people may join who
and training Former VP EMEA, Zuora have more of a financial
Create onboarding programmes,
preferably at HQ to give candidates Kevin Kimber
a flavour of the company ethos. Vice President of EMEA, Zuora
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 14

Labour law legalese
Hiring across Dealing with legal issues across a
“German holiday
entitlements cause shock
“In France, we have
enjoyed great quality and
geographies multitude of European markets can be
intimidating, however with the right advice
and information you can create high
in Silicon Valley!”
Stuart Collingwood
quantity of candidates.
Many people complete
performing teams in all geographies. The GM EMEA, Anki specialised masters. Often
table below is a snapshot of the regulations these programmes include
you will encounter. The perception is that locating to France work experience so you get
is problematic but many of our companies
have managed the regulations and offset
well educated candidates
“Don’t let these things stop the risks. who have two internships
you running your business, under their belts.”
but be cognisant of them!” “There are particular and Lindsey Dale
Simon Edelstyn real pain-points with stock HR Consultant, Outbrain
Former Managing Director Europe,
options in France.”
On maternity leave
Dominic Jacquesson
In the UK, beware of ‘consultants’ ahead of Director of Talent, Index Ventures In Europe, maternity leave entitlement
establishing an entity. If they are operating can be up to a year, and it’s illegal to ask
more like employees this can constitute a woman when she might be returning
a ‘presence’ before you are ready, and to work. During this time, employers are
generate employment rights, tax liabilities, required to hold the mother’s position open
and intellectual property ownership issues. for them to return (or an equivalent role),
You will need a formal employee contract and to arrange for maternity cover during
in Europe which is different from at-will the period of absence. Many employers
employment in the US. offer significantly enhanced benefits and
return-to-work bonuses as opposed to
the statutory minimum. Options will be
expected to continue vesting during any
period of maternity leave.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 15

UK Ireland Netherlands Germany France

Employer Social Taxes 14% 11% 19% 21% 45%

Statutory Annual Leave 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 25+
+ Public holidays (days) 8 9 8 9-13 8

Statutory Pension 1% Not Statutory Not Statutory 9% 16-22%
Contributions for (Included in social taxes) (Included in social taxes)

Statutory Healthcare Not Statutory Not Statutory 7% of salary 7% employers 13% + Health Insurance
Contributions (Included in social taxes) (Included in social taxes)

Min. Notice Period 1 week notice for less than 1 week for less than 2 1 month for less than 5 1 month for less than 2 Between 1 and 3 months
2 years of service years of service years of service years of service in most cases
(Depends on the applicable
Additional week for every Goes up to 8 weeks for Goes up to 4 months for Goes up to 5 months for Collective Bargaining Agreement)
year of service up to max more than 15 years of more than 15 years of more than 12 years of
of 12 weeks service service service

Sick Leave £88.45 per week An employer is not 70% of employee’s salary 6 weeks 100% paid leave Variable
(Statutory after 3 days of required to pay sick leave during the first 2 years of (Generally 6 weeks per (Depends on the employee’s
sickness on no pay) to employees illness sickness) seniority and the provisions of the
applicable Collective Bargaining

Maternity Leave 26 weeks (including 26 weeks statutory pay 16 weeks paid leave 6 weeks before birth and 16 weeks for the 1st and
compulsory first 2 weeks) from the Department of (between 4 and 6 weeks 8 weeks after, women are the 2nd child, 26 weeks
+ 26 weeks additional Social Protection before the expected date prohibited from working for the 3rd child
maternity leave if wanted of delivery and 10 to 12 and can generally claim full
A further 16 weeks unpaid More weeks in case of
Up to 39 weeks’ statutory additional maternity leave weeks after) pay from their employer
specific circumstances
maternity pay at £139.58 can be taken There are additional benefits (twins, illness, etc.)
per week for further time off
An allowance is paid for
maternity leave

Paternity Leave 2 weeks paid (£139.58 per Two weeks paternity with 2 days paid leave and 3 Employees are entitled to 11 consecutive days with
week) plus right to request benefits unpaid parental leave of up to 3 daily compensation
the sharing of parental years per child (not fully paid)
leave with mother and can share some paid
benefits with their partner

Thanks to Taylor Wessing
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Hiring: who, when, how? 16

UK Ireland Netherlands Germany France

Unfair Dismissal Max damages: approx Maximum compensation Fair dismissal max The Protection Against Damages depending on
£80,000 plus up to approx is 2 years’ gross damages EUR 76,000 or Dismissal Act (PADA) act the prejudice suffered, and
£15,000 remuneration one year’s salary if more applies if the employer at least equal to 6 months’
employs more than gross remuneration in
Employee must have been Employee must have Unfair is uncapped, but on
ten employees and the case of dismissal of an
employed for 2 years or been employed for 1 year average in case law 1.3
employee has been employee having at least
more (£80,000 cap is lifted if there or more monthly salaries per year
working for the same 2 years’ seniority with a
is a successful discrimination or of service
whistleblowing claim) employer for more than company of at least 11
six months (Once PADA employees
applies, every dismissal needs to
be justified by the employer. The
employer has the burden of proof
in this context. Roughly 90% of
the German protection against
dismissal lawsuits end by mutual
settlement agreement. Severance
is usually between 0.5 and 1.0
gross monthly salary per year of

Non Competes No default legal restriction Non-competes are used Must be agreed upon Statutory non-compete Must be limited in time
in Ireland but are mostly in writing, including during the term of the and duration, justified by
Possible to include employment relationship the interest of the firm
used for mid-level and substantial business
contractual non-competes and must not prevent the
senior employees only interests in case of a fixed
Post-contractual non-
Maximum possible term contract. In general, employee from finding
compete restrictions can
restricted period will max post-contractual another job. Mandatory
only be agreed in writing for
usually be 12 months period is 1 year financial remuneration of
a maximum term of 2 years
at least 30% of the gross
In practice, can be difficult Compensation of at least monthly salary
to enforce 50% of salary (including
variable remuneration) must
be paid for the entire term

Unions and work Vary depending on the Works Councils are Works council mandatory Vary depending on the Employee delegates must
councils industry but are not uncommon in Ireland at 50 or more employees industry be elected once a company
standard has 11+ employees
Has the opportunity Unions and works councils
to give advice on any are very powerful in A Works Council and
strategic decision, and to Germany a Health and Safety
give consent on decisions Committee (“CHSCT”)
concerning collective must be elected from 50+
terms and conditions employees
Thanks to Taylor Wessing
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 17

3 Where to set up
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 18

Where and why? Target companies Who can help? Berlin
Germany Trade and Invest is the
It’s no coincidence that the best places
to hire from Cities are keen to provide information on economic development agency
to set up are four of the most vibrant setting-up and overviews of tech activity, for Germany.
London has by far the largest pool
cities in Europe. London, Dublin, neighbourhoods, office space and market
of about two hundred serial General
Amsterdam and Berlin are magnets for conditions. They also give advice on Berlin Partner is responsible for
Managers who have built out US
highly motivated and ambitious people. tax breaks, investment schemes, visas, marketing Berlin to the world.
software companies. It also has the
deepest pool of B2C General Managers, business support networks and trade
London is the top choice for Fintech
with marketing and community-building organisations.
and Enterprise. Dublin best for Inside
Sales, back office and support functions. expertise. London is the easiest European
The political climate:
city to relocate people because of its
Amsterdam is good for Inside or
Enterprise Sales. Berlin is unlikely but up language, culture, and schooling. London and Partners is the official In the wake of Brexit
promotional company for London.
and coming - particularly post Brexit. Europe is experiencing political
Dublin has talent from Salesforce, Google,
Deciding factors will be the location of Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle and LinkedIn uncertainty, including the UK’s vote to
networks, representing a growing pool Tech City UK is responsible for the leave the European Union in June 2016
your Europe Leader, location of clients
of Inside Sales and Customer Success Exceptional Tech Talent Visa. (Brexit), but the situation is moving too
and customers, and availability of talent
Leaders. fast for specific advice. When you’re
profile. If you find somebody you really
believe in, let them drive the decision, but ready to expand, please reach out to
Amsterdam has a smaller pool of B2B Dublin
be cautious about building your HQ in a the Index Ventures team for the latest
Sales tech companies that you can IDA Ireland is Ireland’s state agency
city other than these four. state of play.
draw from. with responsibility for inward investment
Berlin has strong B2C talent, often young support and development. There are no immediate changes to the
“Our biggest trigger but aggressive Leaders - particularly from way you do business in Europe. London
Rocket Internet companies. retains its role as a key tech hub. The
in deciding where to Amsterdam importance of London may diminish over
establish was where we Amsterdam inbusiness or time (especially in financial services), but
StartupAmsterdam for the official
wanted to sell. We needed “Our companies that foreign investment agency of the
if this happens, it will happen gradually.
Tellingly, in the months following the
feet on the ground.” located to Ireland and Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Brexit vote, Google, Facebook, Apple and
the UK chose Dublin and Snap all announced major investments
Nick White
Chief Financial Officer, Elastic
London. The preference Netherlands
and headcount increases in London.
For the foreseeable future London will
is to be in the hub - for Netherlands Foreign Investment remain the leading European base for
Agency is an operational unit of the
talent attraction, travel Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
startups and for US startups expanding
into Europe.
connections, and proximity
to other startups.”
Dominic Jacquesson
Director of Talent, Index Ventures
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 19

Clustering Significance EMEA HQ Important Presence Location Rankings London Dublin Amsterdam
(Beyond country operations)

1 1 3
Ease of set up London and Dublin are the most
London / UK Box Airbnb comparable to the US.
Cloudera Amazon
DocuSign Apple

1 1 3
English Language German and French skills will
Oracle Etsy be required if you set up in Berlin
Palantir Expedia or Paris.
Salesforce Facebook

1 3 2
Enterprise The UK, France and Germany are
Snapchat Google Customer the biggest markets to consider.
VMWare Microsoft
WeWork Twitter

1 3 2
Availability of Greatest availability of senior
Zendesk Yahoo Senior Talent talent in London, followed by
Amsterdam and Dublin - you may
Dublin / Ireland Airbnb Amazon be able to get senior leaders to
Dropbox Zendesk

1 1 3
Etsy Availability of There are deep multilingual talent
Facebook Junior hires pools in London and Dublin.

3 1 2
Gilt Groupe Salaries Salaries will be highest in London.

3 1 2
Cost Dublin and Berlin will be the
LinkedIn cheapest cities to operate in.
Mongo DB

2 1 3
Corporation Tax Corporation tax ranges from
Qualtrics 12.5% (Ireland) to 33.3% (France).

1 3 2
Air links to London and Amsterdam have
Yahoo US & Europe the most connected airports.

Amsterdam / Netherlands Adyen Microsoft
Palo Alto Networks
Service Now
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 20

Why London?
If it‘s near Heathrow, everyone drives in · Soho, Fitzrovia or Covent Garden
and drives out, and that doesn’t create a · Good for adtech
Lots of factors in its favour. English cohesive workplace culture. · Average £50-£90 per square foot
language, cultural parallels with US, travel
hub, deep talent pools, multilingual, City of London
packed with Enterprise-grade prospects
“If you are an enterprise The City of London is the commercial
and partners, particularly in financial company the typical route is heart. Almost a city state that has
services. Many US companies have built its own regulations and laws. It is
up a UK audience and clients ahead of
London because the people the powerhouse of the UK economy
formally launching in Europe. who buy your software attracting international corporate giants
that sit alongside the ancient guilds and
The major US tech companies have major are there. You could set up historic monuments.
hubs in London - even if they retain their elsewhere but spend a lot of · Good for financial services sector
formal European HQ in Ireland for tax
reasons. Google, Facebook, and Amazon
time travelling to the UK to · Average £40- £90 per square foot
have large engineering teams in London, build your brand.”
as well as key Account Sales, and West London
Business Development teams. Daniel Hyde Close to M4 corridor out to the West.
CEO, Erevena Massive regeneration is attracting head
Salaries and cost of living are high and offices of major brands with high quality
Brexit is generating political uncertainty – space and a wealth of places to socialise
particularly for fintech companies. Office space and chill out.

neighbourhoods · Paddington
“London is great. It’s · Commuter links for sales people
East London working in established software
not hard to convince The East End is London’s rapidly growing incumbents located in the Thames valley
twentysomethings creative community on the edge of · Average £55 - £80 per square foot
to move to a big city.” The City with many young businesses
attracted by the vibrant mix of clubs,
Matt Price restaurants, bars and cafés. Clerkenwell, “US companies come to
GM EMEA, Zendesk Shoreditch and Hoxton good for a London because there is
consumer startup, or if targeting the
startup or developer communities.
a great talent pool with an
Where in London · Average £35- £65 per square foot
international perspective.”
Locate your offices in central London. John Smith
West End Partner, Gillamor Stephens
No question. It’s just a question of
The West End is London’s cultural and
neighbourhood. There is an Enterprise
retail centre with many established HQs
talent pool outside London near the Recommended realtors
of global businesses. All the media and ad
M4 corridor but central London is the Colliers
agencies are here, and the influx of new
tech hub. Consider your proximity to DeVono Cresa
technology and gentrification is changing
customers and whether your office Gale Priggen
traditional neighbourhoods.
should be a destination. Hanlon Bennett
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 21

Shared working space
1 Interchange
Luton Airport CHALK FARM CANONBURY Stansted Airport 2 Second Home
50km 50km 3 WeWork
DALSTON Important presence
Primrose Hill 5 Amazon
6 Apple
7 Etsy
8 Expedia
9 Facebook
HOXTON 10 Google
HAGGERSTON 11 Microsoft
Kings Cross 12 Twitter
Regent’s Park St Pancras International 13 Yahoo
Euston 14 Box
CLERKENWELL 3 15 Cloudera
4 26 BETHNAL GREEN 16 DocuSign
9 25 17 Oracle
Old Street
18 Palantir
35 19 Salesforce
16 20 Snapchat
31 21 VMWare
11 MARYLEBONE Index portfolio companies
3 17 Liverpool Street 22 Anki
Paddington Tottenham 3
37 34 23 Boku
36 Court Road 3 24 Centrify
10 28 25 Confluent
Oxford Circus 3 29 26 Culture Amp
5 30 3
27 18 13 27 Flipboard
6 SOHO 3 15
20 29 Lookout
MAYFAIR COVENT 3 Fenchurch Street 30 OANDA
12 GARDEN 31 OpenX
River Thames Cannon Street
Piccadilly Circus 32 Outbrain
33 Pentaho
Hyde Park 3
Charing Cross 34 Pure Storage
3 35 Stack Overflow
3 36 Zendesk
St James’s 37 Zuora
Green Park Park London Bridge
Waterloo 23 SOUTHWARK
21 29km London City
Airport 9km
22 12km

Heathrow Gatwick
Airport 22km Airport 60km Victoria VAUXHALL
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 22

Why Dublin? Neighbourhoods
hiring a UK Enterprise and Marketing
team, followed by French and German
The Irish government loves US country managers. Dublin isn’t divided into distinct
companies. Ireland is Europe’s fastest In 2015 Slack sent James Sherrett neighbourhoods by tech industry.
growing economy and Dublin is a from West Coast to grow the team to The city is small and walkable.
global services hub with a highly 30 Inside Sales and Customer Support
educated workforce of home grown and employees. Then they hired an Enterprise Silicon Docks
international talent. It also has the lowest team in London which grew to eight in The South Docks are prime real estate.
corporate tax rates in Europe at 12.5%. five months. This is where the big tech giants and
leading law firms cluster. Facebook,
If you’re looking to build a large Customer
Google, Zalando, Airbnb have offices
Support or Inside Sales team, then Workspaces here, so space is tight and expensive.
economics favour Dublin due to its lower
Upwards of €50 per square foot.
cost. Ireland has big talent pools thanks If you’re bringing less than five people
to Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, Salesforce, consider workspaces like The Digital Hub
Sandyford – South Dublin
Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. or Dogpatch Labs. Slack first housed
South Dublin is more affordable, and
a hundred people in The Digital Hub
When startups kick-off in London and has a good transport network to the
until they opened their European HQ in
get to scale in Europe, they often choose rest of the city. Microsoft has extensive
Dublin. Etsy started here as well. Highly
to open in Dublin and shift back-office operations ranging from R&D to Sales
recommended for the atmosphere,
functions there. and Marketing. Vodafone has a large
networking, flexibility of space and events.
office in a business park with an
If you’ve got the budget consider expansive Customer Experience Centre.
“If you have a highly Glandore providing 5-star unbranded
office facilities in the city centre. Twitter Smithfield – North Dublin
scalable business, Dublin and LinkedIn started here before moving Zendesk is here. Expect to pay €15-25
has some great advantages, to permanent homes. per square metre on the ring road, near
the airport and 30 minutes from city
but tax must not be the centre. Ideal if your team will be frequent
primary driver of where you “We found lots of young travellers.
locate your office.” talent in Dublin well suited
to Customer Support and Support for research,
Johann Butting
Head of Sales EMEA, Slack Sales teams.” development and
Maeve Hurley
Paradigms from our VP Finance and Operations, Zendesk Two major supports available for
multinational companies. A 25% tax
portfolio credit achieved through scientific or
technical advancement. And the Ireland
Dropbox sent a three person landing Research, Development and Innovation
team from San Francisco to support the Programme offers grants depending on
Head of EMEA. The team grew to 50 project size, scope and strategic value.
with Inside Sales and Support, before
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 23

1 The Digital Hub
Dublin Airport 500m
DRUMCONDRA 2 Dogpatch Labs
8km 3 Glandore

4 Airbnb
5 Facebook
6 Fitbit
7 Gilt Groupe
8 Google
Phoenix 9 Hubspot
Park 10 Indeed
11 LinkedIn
9 Dublin Port 12 Marketo
13 Mongo DB
19 14 Qualtrics
16 Twitter
17 Yahoo
1 13 5 4 Index portfolio companies
20 18 Dropbox
19 Etsy
16 20 Slack
14 8
15 21 Squarespace
22 Zendesk


22 Dublin



Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 24

Pros and cons
Office space
Amsterdam is an intimate city with
international outlook. Almost all residents Important presence
3 Microsoft
speak English and it’s strong on quality
of life. Schiphol Airport is a global hub EMEA HQ
and road / rail connections to the rest of 4 Adyen
HOUTHAVENS 5 Atlassian
Europe are effortless. 6
7 Flexport
It’s a viable choice for Inside Sales driven 8 GoPro
businesses. Atlassian and Optimizely are 9 Netflix
creating a talent pool there. It’s attractive 10 Palo Alto Networks
to junior hires, if you’re happy to build 11 Tesla
12 Uber
skills as opposed to hiring experience. 1 4 13 Salesforce
It’s well placed for North European 5 14 Service Now
coverage because salary parity makes it CITY CENTRE Index portfolio
more attractive to Germans and Nordics 18 companies
compared to Dublin. 9 15 Bitpay
7 2 16 DoubleDutch
It’s closer – culturally and geographically 15 1 17 Elastic
Rembrandtpark 18 Optimizely
– to Germany and France than London 12
2 19 Sonos
so could be better placed to establish
your European HQ. However there is less
senior talent available.
The Netherlands has a special tax 8
regime for expatriates, which provides 17
a substantial income tax exemption of AMSTELSTATION
up to 30%. However, there is a distance
requirement where incoming employees ZUIDAS
must have lived more than 150 km from
13 1
the Dutch border before work in the
Netherlands commences.


3 5km 14
Amsterdam Airport 11
Schiphol 5km 19 34km
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where to set up 25

Berlin buzzes with innovation and
regeneration. It’s a magnet for creative
thinkers and entrepreneurs. The city is still Many of Berlin’s startups are in former
finding its feet post-reunification, but is East Berlin around Torstrasse, otherwise
driven by an upbeat and optimistic energy. known as Silicon Allee. Pockets of
startups are huddled around Mitte,
Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain and
“There is no central city Kreuzberg.
hub in Germany. We had
a number of developers Rents
in Berlin due to a strong Median rents paid by startups are
startup scene there, but our currently around €13 monthly per square
customers were all over metre and only just below rents paid by
traditional office tenants averaging €14
the country in Frankfurt, per square metre.
Cologne, Munich, Hamburg
and Düsseldorf.” Talent
Robin Sharpe Berlin has many young Leaders with
Vice President of Operations, Elastic Rocket Internet experience. Management
levels of successful startups are setting
up their own companies. Salaries can be
Berlin has no big industry such as banks, lower than in other parts of the world.
pharmaceutical and automotive, but
there are lots of startups in the B2C and
adtech space. The cost of living and office
space is cheaper than other major cities.
Berlin attracts a young international talent
pool. The co-working scene is very active
and many companies begin in a shared
space such as WeWork before leasing
However, it has been much less
successful to date in attracting the major
US tech companies. It has less talent
in B2B Software and Sales. It’s still the
outlier as a choice for EMEA HQ, relative
to our other three city recommendations.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Selling 26

4 Selling
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Selling 27

Strategy and NEMEA
UK, Ireland, Nordics, Netherlands
Compensation and “In the US a Chief
segmentation ramp up Information Officer will ask:
Before landing, work with your European
Compensation for Sales roles is broadly
‘What can you do for me?’
France, Spain, Italy
Leader to highlight key accounts and sectors comparable to the US, but Enterprise In Europe it may be ‘What
to sell into. This may be straightforward – DACH Sales people may expect benefits or do you want from me?”
or if your offering is for multiple industries Germany, Austria, Switzerland cash compensation in lieu of pension,
– can be more complicated. Try to leverage healthcare, life insurance and car Mark Simon
existing customers and networks as much CEE allowance. They will generally be less CEO, The Chemistry Club
as possible. Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Baltics concerned about options.
Enterprise Salesperson compensation Implementation partners and
“Evaluate which industries Language – is English will be about $200K, 50/50 split base/ distribution channels in Europe
commission, for five to seven years of
will be most receptive as enough? experience. Quotas will be comparable to
Europe has a larger number of potential
implementation partners and indirect
you land in new markets. You can sell to Europe in English but will
the US, but getting up to speed in a new distribution channels than the US. This
territory could take between three to six
Identify your profile of do better with local language skills. Hiring
months. For a new Sales person, expect
is particularly true in infrastructure and
people who speak several languages in your hardware. Vice Presidents of Customer
target EMEA customers centralised hub will broaden your reach.
six months minimal revenue and build Success may find it uncomfortable to
and the ten killer accounts this into your compensation plan. outsource this part of the business, but
Most US startups begin with English your General Manager in Europe should
you want to reach before speaking countries, and many use English What’s different be able to guide you and find the right
setting up office.” to sell to early adopters in other markets. partners. As a result, the shape of your
Scandinavia and the Netherlands in in Europe? team may look quite different to the
Kevin Kimber particular are comfortable with English US, with dedicated resource in channel
Former VP EMEA, Zuora language products and marketing. This Business cycles
Sales and Marketing and in smaller, non-
will work up to a point but it does limit There are major summer and winter
English speaking markets in Eastern and
your audience, so expect to transition to slowdowns in business activity so
Trying to sell into the whole of Europe Southern Europe.
local languages as you grow. forecast accordingly.
is not practical. Europe is generally
segmented into key regions because they Average order value
Cultural expectation
These may be smaller in Europe so look
have different purchasing behaviours and
business cultures. Grouping territories
“Scandinavia is a huge Britain and America are two nations
at them in aggregate.
divided by a common language, but the
maximises efficiency. market for early adopters similarities outweigh the differences.
but you get big points if Remote implementation
You may have to spend more time on site
you speak their language.” Traction peaks and troughs
in Europe than in the US, based on client
Entering new markets can generate
expectations and levels of internal expertise.
Johann Butting significant initial traction from early adopters.
Head of EMEA Sales, Slack Since this layer is thinner in Europe than
the US, you may experience a slowdown
before regaining traction as you build
localisation, brand and outbound activity.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Selling 28

“I typically do a six to nine As time went on, the company began
to see larger deals with more complex
Getting to grips: France

month test with partners in a procurement processes coming through Germany, France “In France, you can fly
market or work with them on the pipeline. The Head of Europe handled and Spain in and out for business
these deals initially before hiring a
three projects before signing specialist and building out a strategic Show clients that you are serious about deals, whereas in Germany
up. You want partners who accounts unit. their market. Provide them with local you need significant
feel that your business is Elastic
language support or take a large group
local presence to be
of people to your meetings.
important to them.” In US Elastic built up a core hub in San taken seriously. This also
Francisco, whereas in Europe they Germany
Kevin Kimber divided their Sales structure into North depends on what stage
Former VP EMEA, Zuora EMEA based in London and South your market is at.”
EMEA based in Amsterdam. Pre-sales is
“In Germany, we needed
essential because it’s a technical product to engage with external Simon Edelstyn
Paradigms from our so there is a 1:2.3 ratio of pre-sales to recruiters to find Former MD Europe, Outbrain
portfolio sales staff. In Europe, the deal sizes
experienced Sales people.
were significantly less than the size
Zendesk of the US in terms of annual contract There is a lot of competition Spain
Zendesk was receiving inbound interest value. Elastic found that the very largest
customers required reps to engage face-
and working for a US based
from across Europe with 70 - 80% of new
to-face, whereas smaller customer could startup may not appeal to “People in Spain want
business arriving organically. They built
a multilingual, multinational Sales team be transacted via video-conferencing someone who is risk averse.” to know you and get
out of their London offices, hiring Sales and screen sharing. The team also comfortable before doing
and Account Management and staffed up runs public developer meet-ups and
two people per quarter. The hiring profile bespoke marketing events for individual
Lindsey Dale business. Often foreigners
HR Consultant, Outbrain
was foreign nationals who were fluent enterprises. doing deals in Spain or Italy
in English plus their native language. The can come across as too
hires were typically entrepreneurially
minded, a few years out of college with aggressive.”
a little sales experience. Half the total
hires had relocated to London to join Simon Edelstyn
Zendesk. Hires were sent to the US for Former MD Europe, Outbrain
an onboarding programme.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Localisation 29

5 Localisation
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Localisation 30

What does localisation If your audience requires a strong local
presence create a local language website
Processing payments “In hindsight, one thing
mean? and support team. First-line Customer You can begin by accepting dollar payments
we could have done
Localisation extends well beyond the
Support from the US isn’t sustainable but may have to make exceptions for larger better was to provide
beyond the short-term due to time zone
language of your user interface. For and language differences.
clients. Eventually you will have to bear local marketing support
the cost of processing payments in Euros
some companies it involves translating
and sterling. earlier, especially outside
a core product offering. For others it’s
a landing page in local language. It also Translation terrors the UK, what with
encompasses payments, pricing, contracts
Translation is as much about culture as
Contracts language differences
and payroll. You need to assess what requiring marketing
localisation means for your company, language. Beware of web translations and You can operate through your US entity
and to what level to invest. translation service businesses which tend and forward contracts via the parent collateral to be translated
to translate word for word. Have your
materials checked by a native speaker
company. We can guide you to the and generally ‘localised’.”
How to get local before release, either internally or crowd
right service provider for more advice.
However, timeliness of response can
sourced from customers. Lindsey Dale
You can get going in Europe with minimal become an issue and frustration for local HR Consultant, Outbrain
localisation, but full localisation to maximise Some of our portfolio companies have used Sales teams, so agree standards for
your addressable market will take years in-house employees for first translations internal response time. Once you have
to achieve. and created tone of voice guidelines with hired a European finance lead, they will “I like to test different
glossaries for external agencies such as generally monitor contract issues more
Sajan and Beluga Linguistics. autonomously. things in different markets
1 Core product / user interface (UI)
As International expansion gathers
and this is an advantage
2 VAT compatibility
pace, shift to a user interface Content
“We have found that in EMEA as it’s not a
3 Marketing collateral Management Systems layer, where single market. You can
changes are possible by local teams. US or English Law is
4 Customer Support
generally accepted for share lots of learning with
5 Pricing and go to market strategy
customer contracts.” the US team this way.”
6 Local market Search Engine “Complex deals can
Stuart Collingwood
Optimisation (SEO) take much longer with Simon Edelstyn GM EMEA, Anki
7 Customer contracts – US or English remote lawyers so make Former Managing Director Europe,
law generally accepted Outbrain
sure everyone is talking
8 Multi-currency (£ and €) to each other to keep
9 Local payment methods things moving.”
10 Data centres – model contract clauses
still generally accepted Matt Price
Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Marketing 31

6 Marketing
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Marketing 32

Central or distributed? “Adoption of our open Online marketing “I’m not a fan of global
Balancing centralised marketing versus
source product was Determine a few key metrics early on
agencies. Their internal
localised marketing can be tricky. The widespread. The biggest and segment by country. Compare offices often compete, and
European office will want marketing challenge was helping to your US markets to get a baseline. your opportunity might
flexibility but your global branding and Online marketing should be run from a
messaging must be standardised. users realise that behind single hub. Decide whether you need be too small for them to
Many well established US companies
the Elasticsearch project a local market social feed or one for all focus on. I prefer to find
is a company with other your European operations. Social feeds good local freelancers.”
are unknown to European consumers.
will need regular updating. Paid digital
To break through will require a mix great products!” channels can be managed centrally for
Nicole Vanderbilt
of PR, online, above-the-line, events,
the UK or if in English, but local pay-per-
content, and Sales collateral, depending Robin Sharpe VP International, Etsy
click (PPC) agencies or internal resource
on your go-to-market plan. Much of this Vice President of Operations, Elastic will be needed for running non-English
advertising will have to be developed for
local markets.
Marketing collateral
PR and launch
“It’s essential to have strong Initially English speaking consumers will
be okay with US collateral but increased Start with a freelancer or small agency.
standardised corporate market share will require empathetic Scale-up by hiring a local internal marketer.
branding and messaging translation. Adapt 50% of existing Your PR agency can liaise with the US
overarching all marketing content and create 50% new content. Of HQ or with the European Marketing Lead.
particular importance is the creation of Balance an agency’s experience with their
activities. But it’s important local case studies using local client logos. hunger to prioritise you.
to have localised marketing If you are building an Inbound Sales Relationships with journalists are crucial.
to ensure that messaging funnel, strong local marketing is important European media is trends and insights
led. Your company may get featured as
and collateral is relevant.” to drive awareness and demand.
part of a larger story but there could be
less Forbes-style front page opportunities.
Simon Edelstyn
Former MD Europe, Outbrain “Driving inbound needs real Create a narrative that your target
audience can relate to. Keep in mind
marketing support. Ten that it can be difficult to get good press
“We allocate European years ago everyone would coverage with only a marketing/sales
have been doing outbound local spokesperson.
marketing budgets 70%
to global campaigns and but today that just isn’t the The media landscape across Germany,
Switzerland and Austria can be treated as a
30% to local ones.” right approach. You need single market, but adjust for local variation.
too many touchpoints.”
Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy Johann Butting
Head of Sales EMEA, Slack
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Marketing 33

Events Hires
Hold launches when you have already High profile hires generate publicity.
established a network of local Customer Hiring from a competitor tells the market
Advocates. Tie in your launch story with you have arrived and this will attract a
larger company milestones. Disrupt bigger talent pool.
existing markets with road-show events
that build awareness and close deals.
“It’s crucial when entering
“We ran lightweight low a new market to have
maintenance two-day some marquee names
marketing events across joining from industry. This
European cities where signals your intent to the
we held boot camps talent market.”
and training seminars Stuart Collingwood
for prospective clients GM EMEA, Anki

followed by a party in the
evening. We also set up Who can help and how?
local press interviews.” If using an agency, test the waters with a
three to six month project. Following on,
Matt Price
pay a retainer fee which could be an entry
Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
point of around €5,000. This should cover
a press office, media and analyst relations
and some additional support.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Marketing 34

Product and The European role Engineering teams
Some European Leaders like to be
involved with overall product decisions,
in product while others prefer to focus on Sales. in Europe
engineering Your International Office can be used as
a testing ground for new ideas.
Irrespective of the strategy you adopt,
make sure the product is good enough
for Europe’s diverse markets.
Companies may have remote engineers in
Europe but this is very different to setting
up a separate engineering team, which
Anki tested different advertising models.
requires more infrastructure and support.
For example, they found TV advertising
on The Simpsons was particularly “EMEA doesn’t need to Whether to have engineering teams in
Europe is usually a separate consideration
successful because the audience drew be involved locally in to setting up a Sales or Commercial Office
in children and parents, who were both product until it is really as the locations may be different.
critical to the buying cycle. This learning
has proved useful for the US. established because it Commercial hubs are generally in Western
We have seen multiple models of team can become a distraction.” Europe while engineering centres may
be in Eastern Europe due to lower
structures. Some companies allocate
Stuart Collingwood costs and availability of talent. However,
dedicated resource to International.
GM EMEA, Anki Google, Facebook and Amazon have built
However, Etsy found after trialling both
engineering hubs in London, and Dropbox
models it was more efficient to share
and Zendesk have engineering teams
resource because isolated engineering
in Dublin.
teams may not have the specialist
expertise required across all aspects of
Offshored engineering centres should
the business.
own a definable product or set of features.
For example, Amazon’s engineering team
“The trajectory has been in London takes the lead on video, and
Zendesk’s team in Dublin is focused on
a little like mobile. Many mobile and live chat.
companies used to have
dedicated mobile teams
and now mobile is part of
everyone’s responsibility.
We’ve tried to move in
this direction with our
approach to international
as well.”
Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where next? 35

7 Where next?
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Where next? 36

A single hub or multiple “The art of strategy is For some companies, scaling to new
locations will not make sense.
offices? understanding where
Inside Sales
to get the business
You can effectively service 80% of without putting in any “We are a Customer
Europe from a single multi-lingual hub in effort – versus where Service, marketing-
Dublin, London or Amsterdam.
you need to invest to driven company, so
Field Sales grow your markets.” we don’t need multiple
You can start with a hub and some Sales Offices in
remote Sales people, but scaling-up will Nicole Vanderbilt different territories.”
require feet on the ground. VP International, Etsy
Raphael Fontes
B2C Director EMEA Operations, Squarespace
You can run digital marketing and staff “If you go into a new
multilingual talent out of a single hub. If market, ring fence
you are building a marketplace or need to
build community establish local presence. the investment then How fast is too fast?
measure that market’s If you expand too fast and need to unplug,
Strategy and timeline performance against it can be a huge drain on management

The three primary markets in Europe are
the investment plan.” resources. Don’t grow faster than you can
handle. You may need coaching as Board
the UK, Germany and France. members may not have International
Simon Edelystn
You can achieve 80% penetration of Europe Former MD Europe, Outbrain experience to guide you. The Head of
from these locations. The UK can service International must add depth to this
Netherlands and the Nordics, and Germany discussion. It’s critical to gauge market
can service Switzerland and Austria. “Almost everyone sentiment and closely monitor customer
and Sales team feedback, and to build
Only at significantly greater scale does underestimates the time deep confidence in your product readiness.
it make sense to establish further local it takes to enter and grow
offices. If you do, the market presence
presence in a new market.
order is generally Netherlands, Nordics, “Find your true north.
Spain. Very few companies go beyond this. Cracking Germany is a
Set a focused strategy
If starting in London, you might build three to five year project.”
some operations out of Dublin as you and then be brave in
scale but will need to have over 50+ Matt Price your pursuit of it.”
headcount for cost-effectiveness. Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Team culture 37

8 Team culture
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Team culture 38

Keeping your team “Avoid taking calls in the You cannot underestimate the human
issues that will arise from running a global
Maintaining culture
connected evening but I checked team. Developing and communicating with across continents
Allow extra time and effort to make
emails regularly and Leaders outside HQ can be a challenge.
Don’t try to create identical companies
Establish appropriate levels of autonomy
sure remote teams are cohesive and prompted US team and avoid fluctuating policies as this can but make sure everyone understands
connected. Build relationships early and members if I needed a create local frustration. your values, and decide what qualities you
strengthen them through video calls, joint want to see driven through your company.
projects, and face-to-face visits. response for customers.” Hire for cultural fit and carry the brand
Decisions and reporting identity through all office fit-outs. Dropbox
Ensure your European team have access Matt Price sent over a Head Chef from San Francisco
to the wider business through training Former GM EMEA, Zendesk Things change fast at a startup so a for the European operation in Dublin.
and exchange programmes. champion for International at HQ helps
with communication and prioritisation Embrace new cultures. For instance,
Video conferencing is better than phoning. prevents your International Office there is more of a drinking culture in
“The GM EMEA needs to You can sync up a video conferencing falling off the map. This may be the Europe than US, and Christmas parties
tool to calendars and screens in meeting Chief Executive Officer, Chief Revenue are a major focal point to end the year.
be in the US HQ every six rooms. Slack is especially good for global Officer or a dedicated Vice President of
weeks or they will forget communication and onboarding. International. Ideally this individual should
what you look like!” have a cross functional remit, rather than
it falling to the Vice President of Sales.
Stuart Collingwood
“Don’t overly rely on
Decide whether the European office is a
GM EMEA, Anki emails when addressing satellite office executing on US decisions,
conflicts. A video or if local teams have autonomy.
All-hands meetings help everyone to conference or phone call Whatever you decide, communicate
often and consistently.
connect. Time differences can make
global calls difficult. Afternoon calls US
can significantly minimise
time can be too late in the day for Europe misunderstandings.”
so keep this in mind when scheduling. “In the early stages your
Raphael Fontes
Director EMEA Operations, Squarespace
EMEA Leader should
report directly into the
CEO to avoid filtering.”
Stuart Collingwood
GM, EMEA, Anki
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The nuts and bolts of legal 39

9 The nuts and
bolts of legal
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The nuts and bolts of legal 40

Data and privacy “Many companies in Regulation “Regulatory problems
This is a sensitive and unsettled issue in
Europe have their version The first consideration is whether your
may arise not by doing
Europe and can turn into a problem as you of boilerplate contracts business is in a sector that needs to be things that are illegal,
become successful. For the early stages, which may put additional regulated. If you are a financial services, but by doing things that
getting legal advice and including model sharing economy or gig economy
clauses in your contract should suffice. liabilities on you. As company there will be some key issues test legal boundaries in
Without model clauses, it is illegal to
a startup you need to to consider. Europe. With success
transfer European data to the US. Even consider: What would you Applying for a licence is fairly comes opposition, and
if you are using Amazon Web Services be willing to sign up for? straightforward, but things may get some of that will come
and Google Cloud check compliance with complicated if your business is a
lawyers. Data residency (where data What would you change fringe case. through the regulatory
centre is located) and data access (who for a customer?” systems.”
can access it) are the two key issues. Early Days…
Kevin Kimber Work with your lawyers to assess what John Fingleton
Regardless of what you do elsewhere in
Former VP EMEA, Zuora licences you need and what regulation CEO, Fingleton Associates
Europe there are particular sensitivities and
you will be subject to. You will need to
legislation in Germany, where you should
start from scratch unless you can piggy
get specific local counsel. Likewise, there
are particular legal issues regarding data
The state of affairs back on someone else’s regulation. To analyse your risk assess your pricing
Obtaining a financial services licence can and business model to see if it could be
touching on health or children. in Europe take six months. considered anti-competitive, or if it relies
on legal or ethical/social ambiguity.
Safe Harbor was an agreement between
Later days…
“It’s so easy to get the United States Department of
As you become successful you may
Commerce and the European Union to “When you wear the
beaten up on this – not regulate the use of European citizens’
encounter more regulatory friction,
by consumers, but by personal data.
driven by consumer groups or traditional armour of an entrant you
competitors. In the UK we have seen high
competitors! In Germany In October 2015 the European Court of profile and damaging cases with Wonga have protection, but over
they’ll file injunctions Justice declared the Safe Harbor provisions (sub-prime lending) and Uber (employee time people start seeing
invalid. The European Commission versus contractor status) to name a few.
against you if you’re published a new set of reforms in May
you as the responsible
not compliant.” 2016 which will enter into force May 2018. established player.”
In February 2016 the EU Commission David Stallibrass
Stuart Collingwood
and the United States agreed a new Director, Fingleton Associates
framework called the EU-US Privacy
Shield. This is currently facing its first
legal challenge.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The nuts and bolts of legal 41

“People are surprised by Office space (talk to Adrian Rainey), who offer a $10K
starter package for all the basics plus six
Look into the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent
Visa for Digital Technology to see if any
the margin of discretion Keep it simple for as long as you can. hours free advisory. They have advised of your employees are applicable.
that regulators have in Set up in a co-working space such as numerous startups and US companies
You can get visa support from TechCityUK
expanding into Europe, and have offices
the EU. Establish links WeWork. When you have more than
in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands
(Maria Palmieri).
twelve in the team commit to a leased
with regulators, not space. It is also possible to sublet or re- and elsewhere.
to influence them but assign a lease from another startup which You will need to cover: Citizens of the European Economic Area
to understand what’s has outgrown its offices. This will shorten (EEA) and Switzerland have the right to
your term commitment. · Immigration
work in Germany.
coming down the line.” · Contracts
· Terms and conditions Citizens of the USA and Canada may
David Stallibrass
The right advice · Data and privacy law enter Germany without a visa and then
Director, Fingleton Associates · Domain registration apply for a residence permit within three
· Stock option planning months.
“Be prepared to spend for · Regulation
Citizens of all other countries must apply
There are major differences across · Trademarks and intellectual property
Europe in how close incumbents are good advice on finance, for a visa to enter Germany. 
to politicians. Try to understand the tax and employment Visas Look into whether you/your employees
landscape and your levels of risk.
For example, in Germany industrial
law. It’s worth its weight qualify for an EU Blue Card which can be
processed more quickly and also allows
companies and car makers are close to in gold and easy to get Visa rules change frequently so check
family members to work.
with the appropriate authorities before
politicians so if you are doing something wrong. This needs budget, making plans.
that upsets them, watch out. Netherlands
especially if you haven’t You may need a Schengen visa to stay in
Stock option planning done it before.” If you want to bring across an existing the Netherlands for a maximum 90-days
employee who doesn’t hold an EU in any 180-day period (short stay visa). If
In the UK an Enterprise Management Stuart Collingwood you wish to stay longer than 90-days you
passport and has no employment
Incentive (EMI) scheme is extremely tax GM EMEA, Anki need an authorization for temporary stay.
rights in the UK, you can get a ‘sole
efficient and applies if you have less than representative’ visa quickly and easily.
250 staff worldwide. It will cost $5-10K to But apply before creating a subsidiary, Ireland
set up, and is worthwhile if you are below Radius Worldwide can help with back Nationals of states outside the European
office expansion, but you will pay a otherwise it’s harder to do.
this threshold. In other geographies, Economic Area need either a Critical Skills
companies issue options out of their US premium for the single point of contact. US passport holders can travel to the Employment Permit or Work Permit in
or UK option plan. UK without a visa, but no longer than six order to work in Ireland. 

Outside the UK, stock options are not as
Legal months in twelve-month period. Watch
Intra-Company Transfer Visas allow for
out for fuzzy rules about what you’re
attractive as they are in the US. They are allowed or not allowed to do.  the temporary assignment of senior
Go for International coverage. Engage management, key personnel with
taxed as income in Germany, Spain and
a full service law firm who can advise Once you’ve established the UK office, specialist knowledge or trainees to the
the Nordics. They are particularly difficult
you across multiple geographies. apply for a sponsor licence to transfer Irish operation.
to issue in France, and we have seen
Your existing US law firm might have employees to the UK under Tier 2 ICT
several companies choosing to forego
European coverage or partners in Europe. (IntraCompany Transfer) work permits.
them entirely.
We also recommend Taylor Wessing
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page The nuts and bolts of legal 42

Accounting Banking
Different firms are good for different If you are setting up in the UK we
purposes. Engage a large firm for upfront recommend banking with Silicon Valley
tax planning and corporate structure. A Bank if you already have an account with
local firm for ongoing payroll, VAT and them in the US. They offer discounted
accounts. Natalie Langley at PwC can rates to Index Ventures companies, but
provide accounting guidance. iHorizons is do not have a banking licence elsewhere
a good local London accounting firm who in Europe. Alex McCracken can provide
specialise in startups. guidance. Otherwise, consider Barclays,
HSBC or a new hungry entrant such as
You will need to cover:
Metro Bank.
· Corporate setup
When opening UK accounts consider that
· Tax relief programs
client due diligence is potentially more
· Options programs
onerous than the US. You may have to
· Transfer pricing
verify details of the business beyond
· Cross-Europe VAT registration
simply identity - notarised address proof
· Client Contracts, adjusting T&Cs for
for owners. Requirements elsewhere in
International markets
Europe will vary but are generally more
· Employee relocations - tax,
onerous than in the UK.
compensation & options adjustments
Most US startups establish a Limited
Company in the UK rather than a branch
office. There are extra disclosure
requirements and liabilities for branches.
Many US startups use their UK Limited
subsidiary as the holding company for all
other European or Worldwide subsidiaries
they subsequently create. However, this
approach may change depending on the
outcome of Brexit negotiations.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 43

10 Case studies
from the Index
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 44

Founded Anki is harnessing robotics and to join the team in 2014. Stuart had
artificial intelligence to deliver magical previously held Vice President EMEA and
2010 experiences that push the boundaries
of the human experience. Founded in
Principal roles at a number of technology
2010 by three Carnegie Mellon Robotics
The Anki team spoke to people who had
institute graduates, Anki creates
Company headquarters worked with Stuart and invited him to
consumer experiences using cutting edge
HQ before hiring him. Stuart had also
San Francisco technology that was once confined to
robotics labs and research institutes.
submitted a five-page mini business plan
before taking the job.

Snapshot 2016
Expanded to Europe “It’s unusual for a GM hire
2014 · 150 employees
· 12 EMEA employees
· Offices in UK, Germany, France
to be a purely search hire.
More often, it’s someone
known through networks.”
Employees at expansion EMEA headquarters Current UK team
65 London · UK Sales Director
· European Marketing Director
Organisational structure
· UK Marketing Director Stuart’s reporting line has changed from
Total funding at expansion Last funding round before expansion · Key Account Manager the Global Head of Sales, to the Chief
· UK Channel Marketing Manager Executive Officer, to the Chief Revenue
(June 2013)
· Customer Care Manager Officer as the company has grown.
$40M · Operations Manager
· Office Manager
“In the early stages your
Series B Expansion objectives EMEA Leader should
Anki launched its first product in the report directly into the
US in October 2013 and started thinking CEO to avoid any filtering.”
about International expansion for the
following year.
Profit and loss is managed centrally and
Key local hire the UK team is a matrix structure with all
Sales reporting directly into Stuart.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer
of Anki Boris Sofman began discussions
with Stuart Collingwood in 2013. Stuart
All quotes: had previously worked with Anki’s then
Stuart Collingwood Marketing Director and was invited
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 45

“Revenue is the most “It’s crucial when entering Location: London Legal, finance and
important part of any a new market to have The UK team worked from home before
early expansion and some marquee names setting up in a Regus office space in Anki began by using centralised law firms
essential for the EMEA joining from the industry. Chiswick Business Park in between for Sales contracts and more, but over
the West End and London Heathrow
Leader to manage” This signals your intent Airport. Although Regus was expensive
time used local firms for expediency.
to the talent market.” per-person, this was a safer option than
taking on a lease. The team may lease
Go-to-market space in 2017 or 2018 when headcount “Be prepared to spend for
“In a retail business, you exceeds 18 people. good advice on finance,
Anki started selling in Europe in a limited tax and employment
have to build the brand
capacity 2014. For the first year the Anki Scaling up and law. It’s worth its weight
London team comprised of Stuart and one and hiring is critical. To
Customer Care hire. The strategy was to evaluating further in gold and easy to get
know what skills to hire,
work with a few key retailers rather than locations wrong. This needs budget,
trying to satisfy the whole market. sometimes you need to
do the job yourself first.” The Anki team will be hiring in France and especially if you haven’t
Germany to mirror the team structure done it before.”
“Living with a startup for of the UK. Other markets (Nordics, the
Middle East) are being serviced through
a period is critical before The US has been frustrated by the slow
ramping up. You need to
pace of hiring, and one big learning for the
team was the notice period for senior staff Data and privacy
understand the business in Europe. The Anki team has worked around Localisation Since the product is aimed at children,
this by starting to hire well in advance.
from end-to-end.” data and privacy was very important for
Most of the localisation has been a product Anki and a big chunk of their legal spend.
and engineering task as it involves localising This was managed centrally, but Stuart
“It’s difficult to tell your the app. helped define the prioritisation.
Further hiring
US team that you’ve Marketing collateral including packaging Anki had to consider terms and conditions
Stuart attributes hiring slowly and hiring found this great person, and brochures has been handled centrally.
The European team provides comments
on their website; the End-User Licensing
right to be fundamental to Anki’s success. Agreement (EULA), and the double-opt-
The Marketing Director who joined from
but it will take three or and input. out needs in Germany and the storage of
Nintendo was the first critical hire. Her six months to get them consumer data.
joining was considered so important, the in – and that’s the norm!” “EMEA doesn’t need to
company announced it in a press release.
Further hires included senior individuals be involved locally in
from Lego and Activision. Three years into operation, the team
is considering hiring a European
product until it is really
All quotes:
Finance Manager. Up to now, invoicing, established because it
Stuart Collingwood
wholesaling deals and more have been
done in the US.
can become a distraction.”
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 46

“It’s so easy to get Anki has always advertised on kid’s TV
and YouTube but has recently discovered
Key differences between
beaten up on this – not the importance of co-viewing. Sponsoring the US and Europe
by consumers, but by the Simpsons in the UK has been fantastic
because both parents and children become
competitors! In Germany familiar with the product. “It can take time for a
they’ll file injunctions US HQ to register how
against you if you’re not “I like to test different meaningful your market is.
compliant.” things in different markets Once the EMEA revenues
and this is an advantage become a significant
in EMEA as it’s not a portion of global business,
The team has now hired an HQ Director
of Legal. single market. You can attitudes change.”
share lots of learning with
Compensation, stock the US team this way.” “There are crucial
options and benefits differences between the
The option scales are consistent with Remote communications US and Europe. Long
the US and based on the level of role. All notice periods for staff.
hires have taken a pay cut but received
stock options. Compensation discussions Deal volumes are smaller
“The GM EMEA needs to
happen with the Director of People who by market so you need to
is based at HQ. be in the US HQ every six
see them in aggregate.”
weeks or they will forget
Marketing what you look like!”

“We’ve learned that “I insisted on decent video
unless you invest conferencing very early –
materially in marketing, phone is not enough.”
you under-perform.”

All quotes:
Stuart Collingwood
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 47

Founded Dropbox makes it easy for people to “Moving from the San
access and share files so they can be
2007 more productive at home and work.
More than 500 million people around the
Francisco HQ to Dublin
meant that I could help
world use Dropbox including 8 million
businesses, with over 200,000 paying the new Dropboxers
Expanded to Europe
business customers. understand the product,
2013 Expansion objectives
what we were trying to
achieve and our culture.
Given the strength of the Dropbox user Ensuring HQ members
Employees at expansion base in Europe and market potential, were on the ground to
Approx. 200
the company’s second office after San
Francisco was located in Dublin. This was help the new members of
fuelled by a move to grow the Enterprise staff was key to the quick
side of the business with local Sales
teams, and establish user support hubs
success we saw in Dublin.’’
Total funding at expansion Last funding round before expansion
(October 2011) in key regions. At the time, Dropbox had

Ben Coggins
a Sales team of 20 people. From making

Head of Strategic Territory
the decision to the landing team setting
Management, AMER, Dropbox
up took a year, and the main concern

Series B
was how a remote office would affect
company culture. Go-to-market
Location: Dublin Dropbox began as a consumer product,
but rapidly expanded into businesses,
Dublin was chosen because of the so go-to-market strategy had to cover
availability of management talent in Sales a spectrum of deals. Once in EMEA,
and Consumer Marketing, and multilingual Dropbox staffed a multilingual Sales
graduates for Inside Sales roles. team and focused on small and medium
sized contracts. As deals became larger,
Three HQ team members moved to
a mid-market team was added selling to
Dublin and were critical to a successful
companies across. Following increased
launch. One was in Sales, the second in
demand from bigger corporations, the
User Operations, and the third was a Sales
team set up offices in London, Paris,
person responsible for recruiting. All three
Amsterdam and Hamburg selling to
were excellent interviewers and they hired
Enterprise-level companies. Through
for culture fit in the Dublin office.
an acquisition, Dropbox now has an
engineering office in Tel Aviv.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 48

“We have now expanded Going up market Organisational Structure Key characteristics
across Europe at a pace The next phase of the organisation was Once the EMEA team was covering all
Dropbox looked for
that has suited our needs. a mid-market Sales team. This was set segments from small to medium business in Country Managers
As well as Dublin, we now up as a remote Sales team covering to Enterprise, Philip’s reports include:
· They need to own the Revenue targets
Europe from Dublin, with representatives
have physical offices in traveling to their territories a couple of
· Head of Core Enterprise EMEA for their country and be the public face
· Country Manager UK
London, Paris, Hamburg times per quarter. More recently the
· Country Manager FR
of Dropbox, effective spokespeople and
company moved further up market, experienced in handling press.
and Amsterdam. We increasing its segmentation boundaries.
· Country Manager DE · Great Enterprise Sales people in
now have sales, solution Mid Market is now Core Enterprise and
· Country Manager BNL combination with general management
architects, marketing, PR, the largest customer segment is now As the company has been organised characteristics.
called Strategic Enterprise. Dropbox along global functions, the role of the Vice · Hands on, willing to see customers, and
and tech support where recently made Channel part of its Go to President EMEA is to bring the functions be able to think strategically.
appropriate. Growing Market, as a way to scale the business. together and run the matrix, as if it was · We look for the following ‘Desired Traits’
one team. – Tenacity
from Dublin into the rest
Growth and marketing – Resilience
of Europe has enabled us The extended leadership teams consists
of functions like:
– Curiosity and the ability to learn
– Self-awareness
to take a considered, well User adoption at Dropbox was initially
· Ability to build out the Dropbox culture.
organic. The company has accelerated · Head of EMEA recruitment
measured approach to International growth through local languages · Head of EMEA people ops
expansion.’’ and currencies, local payment methods, · Head of EMEA pre sales
search engine optimisation, local websites, · Head of EMEA channel “When hiring a Country
Philip Lacor and an arsenal of marketing instruments. · Head of EMEA customer success Manager, the candidate
VP of EMEA, Dropbox · Head of EMEA Revenue Excellence
and Operations must be a reliable
“Our marketing and PR team · Head of EMEA Marketing spokesperson for the
Building an Inbound have been instrumental to · Head of EMEA Comms
company at a local level,
Sales team our growth across Europe, The Vice President EMEA also leads have the ability to be the
an EMEA steering committee with
Initially product-market fit was best for we have established local representatives from all functions like CX, difference in a customer
small companies, and the team focused teams in our European Trust & Security, Finance, Legal in addition meeting, and most
on converting Inbound small and medium
business leads, but the average deal size
offices which has enabled to the functions named above.
importantly, understand
was too small to justify several Sales us to build tailored and the culture of the company.”
interactions in a deal cycle. So the team targeted campaigns to
shifted to a ‘1 touch close’ model where Philip Lacor
no one talked to the same customer increase awareness and VP of EMEA, Dropbox
twice, and Sales people were credited build sales pipeline.’’
– even when the customer converted
months down the line. Philip Lacor
VP of EMEA, Dropbox
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 49

Founded in Amsterdam Founded in 2012 by the people behind “Adoption of our open
the popular open source projects;
2012 Elasticsearch, Lucene, and subsequently
adding the people behind Kibana, Beats
source product was
widespread. The biggest
and Logstash, Elastic provides software
products for users to do great things with challenge was helping
Company headquarters
massive amounts of complex structured users realise that behind
Mountain and unstructured data.

Snapshot 2016
the Elasticsearch project
is a company with other
View · 430 people globally
great products!”
· 33% of revenues from Europe Robin Sharpe
Vice President of Operations, Elastic
Expansion objectives
European commercial ramp up Last funding round before ramp up Founded in Amsterdam, raised money
Key local hire
(November 2012)
in the US, Elastic was a distributed team
Robin Sharpe was hired in 2013. Before

from the start with the first 7 employees
this, he held Chief Financial Officer and
spread across Amsterdam, Barcelona,
Vice President Finance roles at Talend,
Prague and the Bay Area. They set up a

Series A
Springsource and IBM. His role was
Employees at ramp up US and UK subsidiary in their first year of
to work closely with Elastic’s Chief
operation and quickly followed in France

Financial Officer to build out the business
and Germany.
infrastructure to support it scaling fast. He
is based in London and travels to Silicon
Valley regularly.
“Our main trigger in
Total funding at ramp up EMEA headquarters deciding where to Location
$10M Amsterdam establish, was where
we wanted to sell. We At the end of 2012 the team comprised 14
people who were largely distributed. Since
needed feet on the initial hires were experts in this specialised
ground. If you don’t space, it didn’t matter where people were
geographically. However, after seeding
have a local presence European markets with Sales contributors
it is much tougher to from Amsterdam the decision was taken
establish the business.” to expand European Sales operations in
London, with global Commercial leadership
Nick White out of San Francisco.
CFO, Elastic
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 50

Go-to-market Building a Sales team Localisation
The initial strategy was about proving the In US Elastic built up a core hub in San Language wasn’t a major issue because
business model, so Elastic targeted sales Francisco, whereas in Europe they divided core users of the product are developers
coverage in key markets in Europe. their Sales structure into North EMEA who know enough English. However,
based in London and South EMEA based establishing legal subsidiaries in UK,
In 2013 Individual Sales Contributors
in Amsterdam. France and Holland, and enabling
were hired in the UK and Germany and
localisation of all their contracts in these
a Developer Relations person was hired Pre-sales is essential because it’s a
regions assisted in gaining creditability
in France. technical product so there is a 1:2.3 ratio of
with local customers.
pre-sales to sales staff. The first pre-sales
Elastic chose to locate a French speaking
team member was hired in late 2013.
individual sales contributor in the UK due
to labour laws being more flexible than Late in 2015 Elastic established an in-
Stock options, plans
in France. house Sales Development team in US and salaries
and London hubs.
All stock options are issued from Elastic’s
“For the French market Dutch parent stated in USD. In the UK an

you definitely need a “We should have hired EMI scheme was set up very early on.

French speaker and people for handling The company has global bands for roles,
generally irrespective of geographical
preferably a native one.” inbound leads six months differences.
earlier than we did. We Globally, the company has 17 different
Robin Sharpe tried outsourcing which subsidiaries including Japan, Australia,
Vice President of Operations, Elastic Singapore . Payrolls were challenging to
did not work” standardise but they have started using
Radius outside the US to handle all payroll
“There is no central city Martin Blackmore
across its multiple geographies.
Area Vice President, Elastic
hub in Germany. We had
a number of developers
In Europe, the deal sizes were
in Berlin due to strong significantly less than the size of the US
startup scene there, but in terms of annual contract value.
our customers were Elastic found that the very largest
all over the country in customers required reps to engage face-
to-face, whereas smaller customer could
Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, be transacted via video-conferencing and
Hamburg and Düsseldorf.” screen sharing.
The team also runs public developer
Robin Sharpe meet-ups and bespoke marketing events
Vice President of Operations, Elastic for individual enterprises.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 51

Founded Etsy is a marketplace where people around “You need to make sure
the world connect, both online and offline,
2005 to make, sell and buy unique goods.
The heart and soul of Etsy is our global
the International
expansion is a significant
community: the creative entrepreneurs long-term company
Company headquarters who use Etsy to sell what they make or
curate, the shoppers looking for things
goal or it will always get
Brooklyn they can’t find anywhere else, the
manufacturers who partner with Etsy
deprioritised. Figuring out
how to influence US HQ
sellers to help them grow, and the Etsy
employees who maintain and nurture from Europe is a core part
European commercial ramp up our marketplace. of the job.”
2012 Snapshot 2016
Key local hire
The UK team comprises 30 people. The
Employees at ramp up EMEA headquarters Dublin team is over 50 and includes Etsy hired Nicole Vanderbilt initially

350 Dublin
shared services for International; Finance, as Country Manager for UK, Australia
Human Resources, Customer Service, and Canada enabling the company to
Risk Operations and web engineers. internationalise with a more significant
Commercial strategy. Nicole was
based in London and previously Chief
Total funding at ramp up Last funding round before ramp up Expansion objectives Executive Officer at Mydeco, Vice
(May 2012)
$92M $40M
Etsy began with soft outreach in
internationally by hiring members of
President International at Bebo and
Head of Industry Marketing at Google.
Nicole had a background in marketing
their community and lifestyle bloggers
and business development and an
Series F in France, Germany, UK, Australia and
Canada. In 2012, after a $40M fundraise
the company looked to more Commercial
MBA from Insead.

Leaders in regions where they could gain
a considerable footprint, including the
“Your first Country
UK, Canada and Australia. Etsy’s strategy Manager should be
was to establish international markets by scrappy and this will
connecting local sellers to local buyers.
likely not be the corporate
type. I challenge you to
hire someone you know
may not be the right
All quotes: person in 24 months.”
Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 52

Location: London To grow the Etsy community, the local team
runs seller meet-ups and empowers Etsy
“The trajectory has been “Find your true north.
and Dublin champions to galvanise the community. a little like mobile. Many Set a focused strategy
Etsy is a US company with multiple
companies used to have and then be brave in
European hubs. While Nicole who is now “I’m not a fan of global dedicated mobile teams your pursuit of it.”
Vice President International is based in
agencies. Their internal and now mobile is part of
London (Etsy’s biggest European market),
Dublin was set up in 2013 as the EMEA offices often compete, and everyone’s responsibility. Etsy has many sellers in Turkey and
HQ and Paris has a large Etsy team We’ve tried to move in China and new hires often want to build
partially through local acquisition.
your opportunity might on that momentum, but it doesn’t need
be too small for them to this direction with our the support. Whereas it’s extremely

Go-to-market focus on. I prefer to find approach to international important to service Germany to a high
standard to meet local expectations.
good local freelancers.” as well.”
Etsy’s local teams take each market
through a phased approach. Phase one
All of the country teams have a Country
“The art of strategy is
focuses on getting the product right and Organisation structure Manager to whom they report locally and understanding where
acquiring sellers. Phase two focuses on
acquiring buyers. Phase three focuses on Etsy’s International team’s mission is to
all of those Country Managers report to to get the business
connecting local buyers to local sellers Regional Directors or the VP of International.
and on growing the brand.
accelerate the growth of the company.
Dublin is different where most of the teams without putting in any
Some of the things required to do this are
directly within their control (e.g., PR and
are shared service teams. They report back effort – versus where
into their functional leaders in Brooklyn.
Marketing local marketing), but other things require you need to invest to
a strong partnership with other teams
like Product and Engineering. At first they Scaling up and grow your markets.”
When Etsy lands in a new country, one
of its top priorities is simply telling the had a dedicated product and engineering evaluating further
team for international. While this worked
Etsy story. They have done through
in some ways, it also meant that other locations Complicated but
this a combination of in-house experts,
freelancers and agencies. product and engineering teams felt no manageable
responsibility for international. And, the Currently 70% of Etsy transactions are
The Etsy team allocates marketing spend work that dedicated team could do was US to US, but they would like to grow the According to Nicole Vanderbilt, the
of 70% to global campaigns and 30% to limited by their areas of expertise. number of International transactions. Etsy employment challenge in France and
local ones. Digital marketing is now run believes the way to drive this growth is to Germany is overblown. Lawyers can help
centrally out of HQ, having initially been focus on a smaller number of the largest manage convoluted labour laws and the
localised in Europe. opportunities, even though being a global upside trumps the risk – e.g. engineers
platform means they are technically being cheaper than the US.
available in almost every country in the
world. The company believes that focus
and going deep in a few countries will
make for better results than going wide.
All quotes:
Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 53

“I haven’t found the full “We show our international
cost of an employee in users that we accept
France to be any higher Discover cards. They
than the U.K., even when don’t need to know that.
you include the fact that It just screams American.”
it may be more difficult or
more costly to terminate Payments
Etsy uses multiple means of payments
including their own payments service
Localisation which is run as a business. Paypal is good
but restricted by its footprint. Etsy has the
Etsy has translated the site/app using a additional complexity of ensuring it can get
network of freelance translators, many payments to its sellers locally. The team
of whom are sellers. However, the uses WorldPay and Adyen as partners.
bigger challenge has been translating
the content of the 35 million listings,
written by the sellers, many of whom
don’t speak multiple languages. Having
this content translated is important both
to the experience of buyers all over the
world, but also important to success with
Google SEO and PLAs. Etsy has been
experimenting with machine translation
with good results.

All quotes:
Nicole Vanderbilt
VP International, Etsy
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 54

Founded in Israel Outbrain is the leading content discovery to further iterate upon
platform that powers personalised
2006 recommendations to content at the
bottom of article pages on leading
our products and offering.
Every market is unique
publisher websites such as CNN, Sky
News, Guardian, Future Publishing in its way, presenting
Company headquarters
Express Group, SPIEGEL ONLINE, both challenges and
New York Bild, Le Monde and El Pais, serving
more than 250 billion monthly content
recommendations and reaching in the
opportunity, and therefore
we were able to capitalise
region of a billion users every month on the innovation coming
Expanded to Europe across the globe.
from these new markets
2011 Snapshot 2016 and focus it back into our
global efforts at Outbrain.
· 5 European offices: UK, France,
Employees at expansion Last funding round before expansion Germany (Munich & Düsseldorf), Ultimately, without a
Italy, Spain
(February 2011) global footprint there
100 $11M
· 120 European employees
will be a great many
Expansion objectives opportunities that you
Total funding at expansion
Series C simply can’t go after and
this is limiting.”
$29M “At the point at which
Outbrain chose to expand Eytan Galai
we were confident that Managing Director of International,
EU headquarters International headquarters Outbrain
our business model was
London Tel Aviv working well. If you want
to scale, you can’t rely on Key local hire
one single market. For Simon Edelstyn was hired in 2011 as
us it was the right time Managing Director of Outbrain Europe.
He had held two Managing Director
to begin to grow our roles previously, for Contraco and EQO
business outside of the US. Communications. Prior to this he was
Director of Syndication at Google.
We also knew that
expanding into new
markets would help us
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 55

“Once you go International, “While a less competitive “In Germany, finding the Further hiring
commit to it. See your market allows more time right people who would Lindsey Dale was hired as an HR consultant
first hire as an investment, to develop and grow the jump ship and leave in 2012 and she led much of the recruiting
and having a competent business, competition established companies of the Outbrain team across Europe.
person on the ground will will follow so locking in and jobs to work in a Outbrain recruited primarily for Sales and
Account Management, and the majority
help with the difficulties partners early is key. On startup was difficult. of recruitment was done internally. The
of the day-to-day remote the other hand, a well- We closed our Hamburg exception was for Country Managers who
management.” developed market requires office after a false start were found through a UK based recruiter.

Simon Edelstyn
a significant commitment and opened in Munich
Former Managing Director Europe, in deal-making to because we found the “In Germany, we
Outbrain establish momentum.” right person there.” needed to engage
with external recruiters
Simon Edelstyn Simon Edelstyn
Location Former Managing Director Europe, Former Managing Director Europe, to find experienced
Outbrain chose London because that’s
Outbrain Outbrain Salespeople. There is
where they found their first senior hire. a lot of competition
Strategies can vary significantly, and The team eventually closed down two and working for a US
clearly one size does not fit all. While offices in Netherlands and Sweden
Go-to-market Outbrain’s main competitor employed as there was limited management based startup may not
Outbrain relies on two constituents for
a hub strategy (grouping everyone in a bandwidth to deal with opening so many appeal to someone
central office and flying them to countries new markets at one time.
its business model: publishers (who for meetings), Outbrain employed local who is risk averse.”
install content recommendation widgets experts and set up in each country where
and other technologies), and brands they operated. “If you go into a new Lindsey Dale
and agencies (who create and distribute HR Consultant, Outbrain
content across the Outbrain network). market, ring fence
When Outbrain launched in Europe, the Where to go next? the investment then
environment was less competitive and
it was possible to onboard publishers The decision to scale-up further came measure that market’s
without shared revenue guarantees. from Board level and Simon hired performance against
As the market grew and became more Country Managers in France, Germany,
competitive, publishers demanded Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Sweden. the investment plan.”
significantly improved terms. He needed to find Leaders who could
build relationships with agencies and Simon Edelstyn
publishers, especially as deals became Former Managing Director Europe,
more complex. Outbrain
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 56

Onboarding As Outbrain grew, they hired a stock
options administrator in New York, and
Localisation “In hindsight, one thing
used a tax consultant in the UK to educate Outbrain used English contracts unless
we could have done
“We would fly new the team about the implications and value the deals were highly strategic, and found better was to provide
of their options.
European hires to London that for the most part this was accepted local marketing support
The company found that in the UK by European companies.
for training where they employees expected some form of
earlier, especially outside
would meet department contributory pension, private healthcare Marketing the UK, what with
heads and socialise
and subsidised gym membership.
Whereas in France, Spain and Italy, there
language differences
over dinner. This helped was less expectation around benefits. requiring marketing
“It’s essential to have
everyone feel a part of collateral to be translated
strong standardised
something bigger than “We invested heavily and generally “localised”.
corporate branding and
themselves.” from the beginning messaging overarching Lindsey Dale
in proper office space, HR Consultant, Outbrain
Lindsey Dale all marketing activities.
HR Consultant, Outbrain senior hires and in the But it’s important to have
UK we had a pension localised marketing to Remote communications
Compensation, stock scheme and private ensure that messaging It’s important to find the right balance
options and benefits insurance. Outbrain is and collateral is relevant.” between transparency and balancing
employee expectations. Outbrain runs
good at understanding monthly global all-hands meetings where
Outbrain found significant differences Simon Edelstyn
in compensation expectations between the geographical nuances Former MD Europe, Outbrain employees join via video link. European
markets. All Sales people were on the and what is going to Country Managers join a two-hour call
same commission plan, but targets varied with all international Country Managers
by geography.
attract the right people. once a week.
Outbrain issued all shares out of their global
Accounting for the types
pool and found that options held much less of benefits European
value in France as they are taxed so highly. leaders will want.”
However their French employees were still
interested in receiving options. Lindsey Dale
HR Consultant, Outbrain
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 57

Founded Squarespace makes beautiful products
to help people with creative ideas
Location: Dublin
2004 succeed. By blending elegant design and
sophisticated engineering, we empower
Dublin was chosen as the company’s
EMEA HQ because of its access to
millions of people – from individuals and native English speakers, wide language
local artists to entrepreneurs shaping the talent pool and reasonable costs. The
Company headquarters
world’s most iconic businesses – to share Squarespace team that visited Dublin

New York their stories with the world.

Snapshot 2016
felt the vibe of the city was in line with
their culture and the IDA (Ireland’s inward
promotion agency) helped to set up
the team and connected them to local
Expanded to Europe · 500 employees vendors (real estate, payroll, solicitors),

2013 · Global offices in New York, and other companies.
Portland, Dublin
· 110 employees in Dublin
(100 Customer Operations)
Employees at expansion EMEA headquarters The strategy set by the HQ team with
Expansion objectives
200 Dublin
input from Raphael was to target Western
Europe and English speaking markets
Squarespace had been operating as a first. Squarespace has conducted a trial
small business in New York for seven with Spanish translations and is planning
Total funding at expansion Last funding round before expansion years until they took venture capital to target Germany and France next.
(July 2010) investment, which changed the scope

The team started in a shared workspace
and scale of the business and increased

(Dogpatch Labs) until it grew to 20 people.
their global audience.
In 2013 Squarespace opened a Dublin Onboarding
Series A office to service global customers 24/7.
Dublin was also chosen as a hub for
International expansion for access to
Several of the hires were sent to the
New York HQ for training, and some
different languages and expertise in Team Leaders came to Dublin to conduct
different markets and time zone coverage. training. The company also developed an
exchange programme, where staff spend
Key local hire a few weeks in alternate offices to learn
best practices, collaborate on projects,
Raphael Fontes was hired in 2014 to and share experience.
lead the Dublin office. He was the first
senior hire outside the US and joined
Squarespace when the local team was
30. Raphael has a marketing and product
background and was previously Head
of New Markets, SMB Advertising
Operations and EMEA at Google.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 58

Organisation structure “When you have a Initially Squarespace had a weekly
global meeting, but as the team grew
constrained engineering to 400 people, it switched to a monthly
“To drive collaboration team, prioritisation of all-hands meeting.

and raise the profile of resource for International Squarespace has a monthly Customer
Operations meeting (330 attendees) and
each office, the Customer is a constant challenge.” Team Leaders have monthly catch-ups.
Operations team The office uses Google Hangouts and each
meeting room is synced to calendars.
deliberately distributed “One of our company
functional ownership values is – good work takes The hiring profile
globally amongst time – so we focused on
managers in the three The company works with a recruiter in
a high quality rather than New York and is testing for English as
different office locations.” rushing it out the door.” well as a secondary language. They are
also identifying which profiles turn into
high performers and how to interview
Where to go next? Marketing better for cultural fit.

“We are a Customer A big question companies face as Performance
they Internationalise is whether to
Service, marketing-driven use international or local marketing. The company is assessing how to measure
company, so we don’t Squarespace began by running campaigns performance for native versus non-native
out of the New York HQ, including English speakers.
need multiple Sales Offices London poster campaigns on the tube.
in different territories.” They learned that campaign materials
Adjusting compensation
need to be more educational in new
markets to grow brand awareness. and benefits across cities
Remote communications Squarespace benchmarks how competitive
they are against other employers. Benefits
Each country has different tax and VAT
systems and this took a few years to get are similar across offices with health and
right. Dealing in multi-currencies was “A video conference or life insurance, free lunch, snacks and stock
a challenge and product, websites and options. They offer local differentiators with
support required multiple languages. For phone call can minimise benefits including bike-to-work schemes
marketing they decided to keep copy in misunderstandings and commuting passes.
English wherever possible.
significantly.” One of the big challenges was around
vacation days as the US and Dublin have
different expectations and legislation.
All quotes: 25 vacation days are the norm in Europe
Raphael Fontes which is higher than anything found
Director EMEA Operations, Squarespace in the US.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 59

Founded Stack Overflow is the largest online
community for programmers to learn, share
Location: London
2008 their knowledge, and advance their careers.
Developers all over the world trust Stack
As one of the largest world’s largest tech
communities, and a hub for European
Overflow to help solve coding problems tech talent, London was an ideal place to
and use Stack Overflow Talent to find job grow the business. As the company grew
Company headquarters
opportunities. The platform has more than to 70 employees they re-evaluated the

New York 40 million unique visitors every month.

Current snapshot
pros and cons of London versus a Dublin
EMEA HQ and re-committed to London.

Expanded to Europe · 307 global employees

2011 · 79 European employees
· 45% revenue for Europe
Whilst hot-desking in a co-working space,
the London team identified companies
that were hiring developers. They
Expansion objectives reached out to technical employees
Employees at expansion EMEA headquarters who would be familiar with Stack

27 London
As the Stack Overflow Q&A platform Overflow - the platform they used to
grew, the company looked for new find answers to their coding problems
ways to help make programmers lives every day. This “warm” introduction
better. In 2011, the company launched gave them more credibility and helped
Total funding at expansion Last funding round before expansion Stack Overflow Talent (originally named to advance conversations to speaking
(March 2011) Careers) - a platform designed to fix the more strategically to C-level execs at tech

$18M $12M
broken developer hiring process, and help
software engineers find better jobs.
companies across Europe. The Stack
Overflow Talent proposition was clear:
if you’re looking to recruit developers,
Stack Overflow raised Series B funding,
the world’s largest developer community
Series B and set their sights on international
growth; expanding to Europe to enter
new markets.
is the ideal place to attract and engage
technical talent.
The London team focused on working
Key local hire with the most recognisable brand names
in the technology arena, in order to
Stack Overflow focused on strategic leverage their names as social proof.
hires. The first employee was Dimitar Within six months, the team were
Stanimiroff -- a veteran of the European working with Google, Facebook, Skype
startup scene -- as their Sales Director. and Amazon - and Stack Overflow Talent
Dimitar grew the team, hiring Ben Kiziltug was truly established in the UK.
and Stefan Schwarzgruber to expand
Stack Overflow’s presence in the UK
and Germany.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 60

Building the team and When the team grew to 70 people Stack
Overflow invested in their own internal
further locations recruitment, hiring a specialist to be
based in the London office. As a result,
As the UK market expanded, the team the company now employs 79 people
saw the potential to dive deeper into in Europe.
Germany and France. New bi-lingual
employees were hired to better support
these new regions; whilst hosting the A tip from Stack
team from the London office. There Overflow
were several challenges; especially in
France where their audience was notably Ben Kiziltug offers advice for other startups
unforgiving in regards to the use of as they enter the European market:
language, and translations made from
“Invest time and effort
“We found scaling in into making sure the key
France to be particularly hires in a new market are
challenging. All content right. They will dictate
had to be in French and the culture of the office
clients really appreciated and set the tone for future
regular face-to-face employees. People will
meetings” always refer to local
management to discuss
Ben Kiziltug issues face to face before
Regional Sales Manager, Stack Overflow
speaking about issues
In 2014, the business created a new
over Skype or a hangout
Strategic Accounts team, in order to with an international
better service large and enterprise sized manager.”
clients. This involved a greater focus on
customer support, and Stack Overflow Ben Kiziltug
created a formal Customer Success Regional Sales Manager, Stack Overflow
programme to support them.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 61

Founded in Copenhagen Zendesk is transforming Customer By the time Zendesk expanded into
Service for the digital age, by delivering Europe in 2011 it already had 30% of
2007 category defining cloud-based Customer
Service software. More than 100 million
its customers outside the US. This was
partly due to its penetration of the Nordic
people around the world now receive market (it was founded in Copenhagen),
support from Zendesk-powered Customer and it was a product led SaaS business.
Company headquarters
Service departments and helpdesks.

San Francisco Snapshot 2016 “At the time Zendesk in
the US was focused on
· 300+ employees in Europe
European commercial ramp up · 30% revenue from Europe scaling, and Europe was
seen as a bonus rather
2011 “In the early days of a
than as a core part of
the strategy.”
SaaS business, people
Employees at ramp up EMEA headquarters
dream of continuously
60 London selling online with no
staff overheads, but
Key Local Hire
Matt Price was hired as Vice President
at a certain stage you and General Manager EMEA, and
Total funding at ramp up Last funding round before ramp up became employee number 60. He was
(December 2010) realise that you do need
chosen as a more rounded candidate
some Sales and Account
than the generic bag-carrying Enterprise
Management after all.” Sales guy, because customer satisfaction
took priority over hitting Sales targets.

Series C Expansion objectives
Matt had worked with the Zendesk Chief
Operating Officer in a previous role. As
EMEA Leader, Matt brought marketing,
Zendesk set up their European entity analytics and scaling process skills to the
to service customers more easily across team. His technical background helped
multiple timezones and to increase Sales him demo the software and answer client
conversion by offering local support for questions. Matt spent two weeks in San
technical implementations. Francisco before launching in Europe.

All quotes:
Matt Price
Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 62

Location: London “One of the beautiful They were salaried at £35-45K with a
bonus scheme, and half the total hires
“Almost everyone
and Dublin things about a high had relocated to London to join Zendesk. underestimates the time
London was a great initial choice for a
volume business is that Hires were sent to the US for an it takes to enter and grow
onboarding programme.
number of reasons. Matt was already you can make lots of not presence in a new market.
The company began to see larger
based there, Zendesk consultants were very expensive mistakes!” deals with more complex procurement
Cracking Germany is a
already there and the city had the right
profile to attract hires from Europe. processes coming through the pipeline. three to five year project.”
Users began free trials and the Inside Matt handled these deals himself initially
The Dublin EMEA HQ office was before hiring a specialist, which became
Sales Representatives reached out to
set up in 2013 and has Inside Sales
convert them to paying customers. the start of strategic accounts. Data and privacy
teams, Customer Support as well as an
engineering team focused on mobile and Many clients were internet companies As it became clear that Sales staff – early stage
chat products. Zendesk also later set up a (Twitter, Groupon) whose needed technical help, Zendesk created
data centre in Dublin. rapid growth required the Zendesk a new role called an ‘enabler’ which Privacy was not an issue when the
software to scale alongside them. involved pre-sales, post-sales, and some company was targeting small to medium
As the team scaled up they put Sales event training. businesses. A lot of the early privacy work
teams in France and Germany. The Zendesk began to invest more heavily was done with lawyers, getting advice
development teams are in Europe, APAC in networking with the startup sector by
and San Francisco, and Zendesk has also going to meet-ups in London and Berlin
Where to go next? early and making sure the company had
appropriate legal wraps in place.
acquired an analytics team in Montpellier. and connecting with companies and local
Six months after launch, Zendesk
analysed Inbound interest and market Data and privacy
Go to market penetration, and found their popularity – late stage
Building an Inbound directly proportional to the number of
Zendesk received inbound interest from
across Europe with 70-80% of new
Sales team English speakers in a country. They Zendesk added data-centres in Ireland
were seeing great penetration in the UK, and Germany so that data could be
business arriving organically. For the first Australia and the Nordics but hit a plateau
The team decided to build a multilingual, stored in Europe. They also indicated on
three months, the team consisted of Matt in Germany.
multinational Sales team out of their their website what jurisdiction data was
- managing the Sales pipeline - and three
London offices. They hired for two key The team developed two personas for located in, and completed SOC2 and
Customer Support staff. While evaluating
roles: Sales and Account Management and Germany to understand how to grow ISO2071 compliance.
Sales leads, he found that European
staffed up one to two people per quarter. the market. ‘Hans’ worked at a Berlin
buyers trialling Zendesk needed outbound
activity to improve conversion. The hiring profile was foreign nationals startup who spoke fluent English. ‘Dieter’
fluent in English plus their native was 45, loved dancing at weddings and
language. Job interviews involved never bought anything with a credit card.
candidates conducting a demonstration English worked well for early adopters
of the Zendesk platform. The hires were like Hans, but Zendesk recognized that
typically entrepreneurially minded, a few more localisation (payments and support)
years out of college with a little Sales would be required to expand the Dieter
experience. market long term.
All quotes:
Matt Price
Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Case studies from the Index family 63

Marketing “Complex deals can “Distribute the HR function
Matt drove a lot of the marketing strategy
take much longer with even if you don’t distribute
locally, although the execution was done remote lawyers so make the finance function
in San Francisco. For online, the company sure everyone is talking because local employees
focused on two key metrics: site-to-trial
conversion and trial-to-paid conversion. to each other to keep need someone to talk to.”
They made sure they could classify trials things moving.”
by territory and country, and compared
metrics to their US data, after local search Compensation, stock
engine optimisation. Team structure and options, benefits
To get face-to-face time with customers, remote communications
Zendesk EMEA ran boot camps which Everyone in the company was given
included roadshows and training seminars. Time differences can be a challenge with equity and an EMI scheme was set up
This helped Sales Representatives offices in the US and EMEA so Matt early on in the UK. Other than the UK,
close deals and clients learn how to be invited some of the US team to work from options are all administered out of the
successful on the product. They set London for a week, meet the team, and US plan.
up press interviews and threw parties. absorb the local cadence. Matt visited the There was a pre IPO stock admin team
The events were scrappy, lightweight, US once a quarter. who helped with educating the team
low maintenance and mostly run by the about equity.
internal team.
“Avoid taking calls in the
Legals evening but I checked “If you have less than 250
emails regularly and staff worldwide, it is worth
All contracts for Zendesk are online and
go through Zendesk Inc. Zendesk has prompted US team setting up EMI in the UK.”
one legal team in the US who provide members if I needed a
support and partners in each region. This
single point of contact helps maintain response for customers.”
consistency across contracts.

All quotes:
Matt Price
Former GM EMEA, Zendesk
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Appendix 64

Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Appendix 65

1stdibs Centrify Dropbox
1stdibs is the leading marketplace for Centrify secures identities against Dropbox is a file sharing solution trusted
luxury antiques and vintage goods. cyberthreats that target today’s hybrid by over 500 million users, businesses,

profiles Originally inspired by Parisian flea
markets, today the website brings
together more than 1,500 of the world’s
IT environment of cloud, mobile and on-
premises. Its Identity Platform protects
against the leading point of attack
universities and non-profits. It enables
photos, documents and videos to be
stored and shared seamlessly.
most prestigious international dealers of used in data breaches – compromised
antiques, vintage furniture and design, credentials – by securing enterprises’ Elastic
fine art, estate jewellery, vintage couture internal and external users in addition Founded by the people behind
and fine homes. to privileged accounts. Elasticsearch, Elastic provides software
products for developers, startups and
Anki Collibra enterprises to make complex structured
By building on decades of scientific Collibra is the trusted data authority and unstructured data usable. By focusing
research to take artificial intelligence out that provides data stewardship, data on scalability, ease-of-use, and ease-of-
of the lab and into people’s lives, Anki is governance and data management for integration, Elastic’s products are used for
at the forefront of a consumer robotics the enterprise business user. real-time search, logging, analytics, and
revolution. security to power internal and external
Confluent applications for Cisco, eBay, Goldman
Bitpay A Stream Data Platform powered by Sachs, Groupon, Microsoft, NASA,
The leading payment service provider Apache Kafka. Netflix, OpenTable, Yelp, and Wikipedia.
(PSP) specializing in the peer-to-peer
virtual currency Bitcoin which provides Culture Amp Etsy
for instantaneous transactions from Culture Amp is a culture-first software The marketplace for handmade and
anywhere in the world with no risk of company that is building the world’s vintage items, art and supplies, Etsy
fraud or chargebacks. leading People Analytics platform for has created a global community of
people and culture. like-minded people, who are powering a
Boku sustainable new economy by using the
Boku, the leading operator billing Datadog internet to reconnect makers with buyers.
and cross-platform mobile payments Datadog is a SaaS-based monitoring and
company, brings bank-grade payments data analytics platform for IT, Operations Flipboard
technology and mobile users together, and Development teams who write and A personalised magazine, Flipboard’s
creating a trusted, accessible platform run applications at scale, and want to turn mission is to transform the way people
for consumers, merchants and operators the data deluge produced by their apps, discover, view and share content by
alike. Based in San Francisco with offices tools and services into actionable insight. merging the ease and beauty of print with
in Europe, Latin America and Asia, Boku the power and spontaneity of social media.
reaches nearly 4 billion consumers DoubleDutch
worldwide, across 70 countries with DoubleDutch is the leading developer of
more than 270 operators. mobile event technology and the first to
bring a data-driven approach to the live
events industry.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Appendix 66

Hortonworks OpenX Rightscale Zendesk
Hortonworks is a leading distributor, A global leader in digital and mobile RightScale Cloud Portfolio Management Zendesk is transforming customer service
developer and vendor of Apache ad tech, OpenX enables digital media enables leading enterprises to accelerate for the digital age, by delivering category
Hadoop, the open source platform for companies to unleash their full economic delivery of cloud-based applications that defining cloud-based customer service
Big Data storage, management and power by maximising ad revenue. OpenX engage customers and drive top-line software. More than 100 million people
analytics. Hortonworks employees have solutions provide a unique SaaS platform revenue while optimizing cloud usage to around the world now receive support
amassed more Hadoop experience – and which combines ad serving, a real-time reduce risk and costs. With RightScale, IT from Zendesk-powered customer service
collectively contributed more lines of code bidding exchange, yield optimisation and organizations can deliver instant access departments and helpdesks.
to the platform – than any other company. content valuation. to a portfolio of public, private, and hybrid
cloud services across business units and Zuora
Lookout Optimizely development teams while maintaining Zuora is the global leader in subscription
As smart-phones go global and tablets Enterprise-level A/B testing and enterprise control. commerce and billing, helping companies
overtake PCs, Lookout harnesses the personalisation for web and mobile apps. in every industry transition to the
power of millions of users across 400 Slack Subscription Economy.
networks in 170 countries to be at the Outbrain Slack is a messaging platform for
cutting edge of cross-platform, cloud- Outbrain is the Internet’s leading teams which brings all communication Zend
connected device security for the post- personalised content discovery platform. together, creating a single unified archive Zend partners with businesses for the rapid
desktop era. By recommending news, blogs and other accessible through powerful search. delivery of modern apps across mobile
content to a receptive reader, at the right and cloud, having helped establish the
Novus moment, Outbrain enables publishers Sonos PHP language which today powers over
Novus is a portfolio analytics company to boost traffic and marketers to reach The leading manufacturer of wireless 200 million applications and websites.
founded by a group of investors, audiences at their most engaged. music systems, Sonos has re-imagined
engineers and data scientists. The home audio for the digital era.
company works with top hedge funds, Pentaho
sovereign wealth funds, endowments, Pentaho is delivering the future of Squarespace
pensions and other institutional investors, business analytics. Pentaho’s open Squarespace empowers individuals
managing almost $1 trillion, to help them source heritage drives our continued and companies to design, build and
generate higher returns. innovation in a modern, integrated, maintain bespoke websites that raise
embeddable platform built for the future the bar for online publishing. By fusing
OANDA of analytics, including diverse and big data elegant design with robust engineering,
OANDA Corporation transformed the requirements. the company’s mission is to provide the
business of foreign exchange through an creative tools that power the future of
innovative approach to forex trading. The Pure Storage the web.
company’s industry leading online trading Pure Storage, the all-flash enterprise
platform, fxTrade, introduced a number storage company, enables the broad Stack Overflow
of firsts to the marketplace, including deployment of flash in the data center. Stack Overflow is the largest online
immediate execution; instant settlement When compared to traditional disk-centric community for programmers to learn, share
on trades; trades of any size between arrays, the Pure Storage FlashArray their knowledge, and advance their careers.
one unit and 10 million units; and interest is 10x faster and 10x more space and Developers all over the world trust Stack
calculated by the second. power efficient, for less than the cost of Overflow to help solve coding problems
mechanical disk per gigabyte stored. and use Stack Overflow Talent to find job
opportunities. The platform has more than
40 million unique visitors every month.
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Appendix 67

Directory Recommended recruiters Banking, accounting Amsterdam
for GM and VP candidates and back office

of resources 360 Leaders
Ben Markland
Silicon Valley Bank
Alex McCracken
Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
Jerry Maynard
Radius Worldwide Berlin
Erevena Sam Barnes Germany Trade and Invest
Dan Hyde
Atlantic Leap
Gillamor Stephens Evan Rudowski
Steve Lavelle
Renaissance Leadership Natalie Langley
Sebastian Kayll
The Up Group Legal and visa
Clare Johnston
Taylor Wessing
Asari Partners Adrian Rainey
Karrin Niccol and Julia Redfern For Germany: ‘Building the Bridge’
For the UK: ‘Across the Pond’
Work Spaces and realtors
Networking The Chemistry Club
(Senior executives FTSE 100 companies) Trade associations
London London and Partners Tech City UK Ireland
IDA Ireland
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Appendix 68

GTM Go to market R&D Research and Development BEPS Base Erosion and Profit
B2C Business to consumer RD&I Research, Development

glossary B2B Business to business
and Innovation


Terms and Conditions

Intellectual Property
Adtech Advertising technology
Mn Million EULA End User License
Fintech Financial technology Agreement
FTE Full Time Equivalent
EMEA Europe, Middle East SMB Small Medium Business
and Africa ACV Annual Contract Value
CMS Content Management
GM General Manager NEMEA North Europe, Middle East System
and Africa
CM Country Manager SV Silicon Valley
SEMEA South Europe, Middle East
VP Sales Vice President of Sales and Africa

VP EMEA Vice President of Europe, DACH Deutschland, Austria &
Middle, East and Africa Switzerland

HQ Headquarters CEE Central and Eastern Europe

CEO Chief Executive Office IC Individual contributor

CRO Chief Revenue Officer CIO Chief Information Officer

CMO Chief Marketing Officer UI User interface

COO Chief Operating Officer VAT Value Added Tax

RPO Recruitment Process ESOP Employee Stock
Outsourcing Ownership Plan

IPO Initial Public Offering EMI Enterprise Management
Incentive (‘EMI’) scheme
GmbH Denotes a company as
private in Germany CGT Capital Gains Tax

M4 Corridor Adjacent to the M4 VSE Virtual Storage Extended
motorway which runs from
London to South Wales
Index Ventures Expanding into Europe Go to Contents page Appendix 69

Thank you
Adrian Rainey Taylor Wessing Jonathon Southam Amazon Web Pablo Vinageras Garrigues
Services Cobielles
Alex McCracken Silicon Valley Bank
Kevin Kimber SAP Pat English Matheson
Andy Reiss Fingleton Associates
Lindsey Dale Outbrain Peter Nguyen Anki
Ben Coggins Dropbox Philip Lacor Dropbox
Louise Conolly- London & Partners
Ben Kiziltug Stack Overflow Smith Philip Shepherd Taylor Wessing

Dan Hyde Erevena Maeve Hurley Zendesk Rachel Goodman Silicon Valley Bank

David Roldan Google Cloud Mark Simon The Chemistry Club Raphael Fontes Squarespace

David Stallibrass Fingleton Associates Martin Blackmore Elastic Robin Sharpe Elastic

Didier Elzinga Culture Amp Martin Falch 360 Leaders Sam Barnes Radius Worldwide

Dieter Oude Kotte Startup Amsterdam Matt Price Zendesk Sarah Gavin Outbrain

Dimitar Stanimiroff Heresy Mia Iwama London & Partners Simon Edelstyn ROKT
Edwin de Rooij Taylor Wessing Steve Lavelle Gillamor Stephens
Netherlands Michelle Conaghan IDA Ireland
Steven Rose Verne Global
Hassan Sohbi Taylor Wessing Natalia Stack Overflow
Germany Radcliffe-Brine Stuart Collingwood Anki

James Downing Silicon Valley Bank Nick Clark Nelson Bostock Tilo Bonow Piabo

Jens Kuehlers Google Cloud Nick Morris Dropbox Tom Waller Dropbox

Jerry Maynard 360 Leaders Nick White Elastic Tyler Palmer Patreon

Johann Butting Slack Nicolas de Witt Taylor Wessing Uzi Shmilovici Base
John Fingleton Fingleton Associates
Nicole Vanderbilt Etsy
John Smith Gillamor Stephens
Oliver Wilken Germany Trade and
Jon Williams Culture Amp Invest
Index Ventures
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