Return of Danny Rimer

Nearly ten years ago, long before the Internet madness started, I met Danny Rimer. At the time at-least, he was one of a kind – an Internet analyst. He toiled away in the not-so-posh offices of Hambrecht & Quist, trying to make sense of a stillborn industry. Rimer was there long before Mary Meeker brought her “diva act” and bullish prognostications. And long before Henry Blodgett bumbled his way into over-the-top price targets. Rimer did not have the gift of the gab (thank god) but he was a believer. He believed in the disruptive power of the “connected economies.”

danny rimerAs the years went by, Rimer went through a career transition, and became a general partner at The Barksdale Group, a venture capital firm started by Jim Barksdale and other Netscape refugees. As the dot.bomb hit, the firm and its partners spread like feathers from a broken wing. Rimer, however, went back home to Switzerland, and became a general partner at Index Ventures, a London-based VC firm, that manages about a billion dollars. The four Rimer brothers along with three others are general partners at the firm.

So why bring up Rimer now? Well, you heard of this little deal where eBay (supremely overpaid) for a little company called Skype… Rimer was one of the investors in Skype. Unlike his more vocal and visible counterpart, Tim Draper from the first of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Rimer has been keeping it on the D-L. Index and DJF had co-led the $18.8 million investment in Skype. That it has been a home run, well that’s like saying Barry Bonds is just another San Francisco Giant.

Rimer, who now lives in London has been making steady investments in a lot of intriguing and what seem to be difficult business ideas. MySQL, Source Labs, and Zend are some of his other investments. He admits, he is an “open source” believer. I chatted with Rimer this morning, and he was quick to point out that like Skype, there is a lot of innovation bubbling in Europe. In his opinion, the hot-house like environment of Silicon Valley the phenomenon of very-alike start-ups is widespread.

So what next? Rimer is pretty excited about his new start-up, Thought Spot Runner, which is still in stealth mode. This one is so stealth that I could not find a website for the company.