Simon Levene

Simon-Levene2.jpg

Sectors

Marketplaces, Consumer Services, SaaS, BitCoin, Finance, Education 

Mosaic companies

Number Four, BlockstreamClue, MultiChain, Nexar

Prior investments

AppcardEtsy, Fotolia, Knewton, MyHeritage, ResearchGate, Seeking Alpha, Shapeways, Squarespace

In the News

DLD - Bitcoin, Blockchain, whats the buzz?

Gruenderszene - $7M for Clue

New York Times - Europe's next generation of Venture Capital Funds

CNBC - EU Fintech rules a boon on start-ups

On Twitter

My name is Simon Levene and I am a co-founder and partner at Mosaic Ventures.

I was born in London to a family of second/third generation immigrant-entrepreneurs – folks who came to the UK in some instances as refugees and on whose shoulders I stand.

Aged 21, I moved to the US for grad school (politics, philosophy), just as the web was emerging, and stayed for over a decade. As an early adopter, in 1993 I downloaded Netscape’s Mosaic, the first browser, and began surfing the web with a 14.4k modem. It was an epiphany.  After another stint at grad school earning an MBA, I headed west to Silicon Valley, the epicentre of the Internet ecosystem.

From 1996-2000, I was an early employee at @Home Network, a startup founded in 1995 to pioneer the broadband Internet we take for granted today. Together with John O’Farrell (now also a VC), I co-founded @Home’s international business and then jointly led bus dev/corp dev for the international division.  In four years this ramped to $70M revenue and 500 employees in 10 countries (as a whole, the company grew to 4,000 employees). @Home was one of the poster children of the first Internet wave, and flew high post-IPO before crashing due to a byzantine corporate ownership structure and an ill-fated merger with Excite. Lots of invaluable experience from those years, including working alongside a handpicked team of engineers and product managers/operators to scale a leading ISP service so rapidly.

My friend and Mosaic partner Toby Coppel, together with Jeff Weiner and Jerry Yang, recruited me to Yahoo! in 2001-2, where I spent four years as VP Corp Dev in a small team that came together following the dotcom crash. Yahoo! was then the #1 website globally with ~200M users, almost breaking even on $700M revenue, and a nice cash pile. Corp dev were empowered by the board to help devise a new strategy for the company -- to evaluate every web product/service in every geography -- and determine whether to enter as a principal; and if yes, to build or buy. Yahoo! was a great platform from which to enter the nascent search and mobile businesses, and double down on shopping, travel, finance, geo/maps, voice, photos, games and many other emerging web “verticals”. It was intellectually fascinating to work alongside a deep bench of world-class talent across such wide-ranging consumer-facing applications, and deliver product to the web’s biggest audience.

As a result of these operating experiences at Silicon Valley darlings (that both arguably never realized their full potential), twice-over I am a member of a fantastic diaspora of alumni, represented at many exciting startups today. A huge positive from the creative destruction inherent in our space.

I joined the venture community in 2006 and was a partner at Accel London - a fortunate apprenticeship. Accel was a great platform to forge strong relationships with many entrepreneurs and fellow investors, and investments I led there included Etsy, Knewton, Seeking Alpha, and MyHeritage.  Since 2010, in preparation for starting Mosaic, I have been investing in the European (and US) startup ecosystems with my own capital, often alongside my good friends at Index Ventures -- where for a time I had a desk and was affiliated as a Venture Partner. Notable investments in this period include ResearchGate, Number Four, Shapeways, Squarespace, and Appcard (all Series A); as well as Fotolia and Etsy (at growth stage).

I am delighted to be starting Mosaic with two of my closest friends. Outside the startup world, I live with my Danish girlfriend and enjoy reading, yoga and nature.

 

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