October 7, 1963|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Alma mater||Harvard Business School|
|Occupation||Venture capitalist and investor, partner at Index Ventures|
|Relatives||Father Gerald, who founded Index Securities, the predecessor to Index Ventures, in 1976. Brothers David, a partner at Index Ventures; Danny, also a partner at Index Ventures; and Richard, formerly a partner at Index Ventures, now at Acorn Energy.|
Neil Rimer is a partner at Index Ventures, a venture capital firm he co-founded with Giuseppe Zocco and brother David Rimer in 1996. He is also the brother of Danny Rimer, who joined him as a partner at Index Ventures in 2002.
Early life and education
Rimer was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and reared and educated (International School of Geneva) in Geneva, Switzerland. He received a bachelor’s degree in History and Economics from Stanford University, and was a General Course student at the London School of Economics. He then took his first job out of school with Montgomery Securities, an investment bank in San Francisco. He then completed a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and upon graduating, chose to return to Europe. He was later quoted by Fortune as reflecting on this move, “I was excited about the idea of participating in the birth of the VC industry in Europe”.
Soon after his return to Geneva, in 1991, Rimer helped his father Gerald exit the bond trading business he had founded, and spent a few years connecting institutional investors with European technology startups, an effort that over time evolved into the official launch of Index Ventures. In 1996 Rimer co-founded Index Ventures in Geneva with his brother, David, and Giuseppe Zocco, helping raise Index’ first pilot fund of $17 million, followed by a $180 million fund in 1998. Companies funded during this time include SCM Microsystems (now Identive) and Virata, a chipmaker, which later entered into a $1.3 Billion merger with GlobeSpan.
Notable investments Rimer has been involved with at Index Ventures in the years since include Betfair (LSE: BET) and Skype (acquired by eBay for $2.6 billion, later acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion). Rimer has also invested in and served on the boards of directors of Last.fm (acquired by CBS for $280 million), Ofoto (acquired by Kodak), Trolltech (acquired by Nokia for $153 million), Numerical Technologies (acquired by Synopsis for $250 million); Genmab (Nasdaq Copenhagen: GEN); and StepStone. Rimer currently sits on the board of directors of a number of companies including Call9, Funding Circle, HouseTrip, MOO Print, PhotoBox, StackExchange, Supercell, Kaggle, Metromile, and The Climate Corporation (acquired by Monsanto for approximately $1.1 billion).
Rimer headed the team at Index Ventures that led a $130 million funding round in Supercell, the subject of a May 6, 2013 Forbes article, “Is This the Fastest-Growing Game Company Ever?” In October 2013 Softbank and GungHo Online Entertainment acquired 51% of Supercell for $1.53 billion.
Rimer was named the number one venture capitalist in Europe in Forbes' inaugural Midas List Europe 2017. He was also featured on the Forbes Global Midas list in 2018 and the 2018 New York Times list of the top venture capitalists worldwide.
Philanthropy and Non-Profit Involvement
Rimer is a member of the board of directors of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and is a founder of the Geneva Committee of HRW. He has also served on the European Leadership Council of Harvard Business School and on the board of U.C. Sampdoria, a football club competing in the Italian Serie A professional football league competition.
- Index Ventures website
- Neil Rimer on Index Ventures blog
- Neil Rimer on Twitter
- Meet the man behind Europe’s hottest VC firm, in GigaOM (April 13, 2012)
- Neil Rimer Explains Index Ventures’ New Seed Program, in Wall Street Journal: Venture Capital Dispatch (April 26, 2010)
- Europe’s start-up backer — Neil Rimer, founder, Index Ventures, in FT (November 28, 2016)
- "Wall Street Journal Fast Forward: Speakers and Guests".
- "MediaGuardian 100 2012". The Guardian. September 16, 2012.
- "In Conversation With Neil Rimer". PICTET Perspectives. May 16, 2012.
- "25 Rising Stars". Fortune. May 14, 2001. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014.
- "Levie, Damelin, Rimer, Onur, Klein, Khan To Speak At TechCrunch Disrupt Europe". TechCrunch. July 24, 2013.
- "GlobeSpan, Virata merge in $1.3 billion deal". CNET. October 1, 2001.
- "EBay Buys Skype for $2.6 Billion". PC World. September 12, 2005.
- "Why Microsoft Is Buying Skype for $8.5 Billion". GigaOM. May 9, 2011.
- "CBS Acquires Europe's Last.fm for $280 million". TechCrunch. May 30, 2007.
- "Kodak buys Ofoto.com". MarketWatch. April 30, 2001.
- "Nokia Acquires Trolltech For $153 Million". TechCrunch. January 28, 2008.
- "Synopsys to buy Numerical Tech for $250 million". EE Times. January 13, 2003.
- "Is This The Fastest-Growing Game Company Ever?". Forbes. May 6, 2013.
- "Index And Khosla Lead $11M Round In Kaggle, A Platform For Data Modeling Competitions". TechCrunch. November 2, 2011.
- "WhoGotFunded: MetroMile".
- "Monsanto Buys Weather Big Data Company Climate Corporation For Around $1.1B". TechCrunch. October 2, 2013.
- "Supercell Dominates The Realm: Game Maker Sells A 51%, $1.53B Stake To SoftBank and GungHo Online". TechCrunch. October 15, 2013.
- "Forbes Announces First-Ever 2017 Midas List Europe". Forbes. November 6, 2017.
- "The Midas List". Forbes. April 3, 2018.
- "The Top 100 Venture Capitalists".
- "Human Rights Watch: Board of Directors".