The Midas List Europe 2023, created in cooperation with TrueBridge Capital Partners and reported by Forbes, is a definitive ranking of the most influential tech investors from European and Middle Eastern countries. A notable returnee is Irish-born investor Tom Stafford of DST Global, whose strategic foresight and knack for identifying high-potential ventures have solidified his presence on the list. The co-founder of DST Global and a key player in multiple successful investments, including Nubank and Klarna, Tom Stafford exemplifies the vision and expertise celebrated by the Midas List.
5. Tom Stafford
Tom Stafford, an Irish-born investor, has proven to be a dynamic figure in the tech investment industry. Stafford returns to the international Midas List following his debut in 2022, and he has previously appeared on Midas List Europe five times. His impressive portfolio and investment success have made him a recognized figure in the global tech investment scene.
Stafford’s leadership in the Series D round into Latin America’s Nubank in 2016 is a testament to his foresight. Nubank went public in 2021 when it was valued at $41 billion and, as of January 2023, is worth about $23 billion. Stafford’s strategic involvement in fintech firm Klarna, most recently valued at $6.7 billion, and co-leading the Series A round into payment processor Checkout.com, valued at $11 billion, underlining his ability to spot high-potential ventures in the fintech sector.
On a personal level, Stafford has made 24 investments, the latest of which was a 2022 seed round investment in U.K. software startup Surfboard. It raised about $5.28 million. This personal investment activity demonstrates his commitment to supporting innovative startups.
4. Laurel Bowden
Laurel Bowden, with her extensive experience and strategic mindset, has made a significant mark in the tech investment landscape. Bowden was the first European partner of 83North, formerly known as Greylock IL, which manages $2.2 billion worth of assets in Europe and Israel. It has backed 88 companies since 2006. As one of four investing partners at the fund, Bowden plays a key role in the firm’s strategy of focusing on just one deal per partner each year, reinforcing the fund’s emphasis on quality over quantity in its investment approach.
Bowden’s place in the tech investment industry has been cemented by her participation in several high-profile deals. Her involvement in Doordash’s $10 billion acquisition of Wolt in 2021, PayPal’s $2.2 billion takeover of iZettle in 2018, and the German company Celonis’ $1 billion fundraising at an $11 billion valuation underline her knack for identifying and investing in promising ventures.
3. Avi Eyal
Avi Eyal, a Tel Aviv-based investor, has established himself as a formidable player in the tech investment world. Eyal’s keen foresight and strategic decision-making have not only earned him a spot on the international Midas List for the second year in 2023, but they have also led to impressive successes involving several startups.
Eyal was one of the earliest backers of the project management site monday.com, which went public in 2021 and now boasts a market cap of $6.2 billion. Other notable achievements include his investments in Coupang, currently valued at $45 billion on NYSE, and Cazoo, valued at $8 billion on NYSE. These successful exits bear testament to Eyal’s acumen and ability to identify high-potential ventures at an early stage.
Further demonstrating his financial insight and astute judgment, Eyal advised his portfolio companies to withdraw their money from Silicon Valley Bank before its collapse in January 2023. His strategic foresight in this case undoubtedly saved his portfolio companies from significant financial distress, highlighting his value not just as an investor but also as a trusted advisor.
2. Jan Hammer
Jan Hammer, originally from the Czech Republic, has made his mark on the European tech investment scene. Although colleague Danny Rimer broke his four-year run at the top of Midas List Europe, Hammer still ranks second on the list and maintains his position as a top 20 investor on the international Midas List. His ability to identify and support overlooked startups has been a key driver of his success, placing him among the most influential tech investors in Europe.
One of Hammer’s most notable achievements has been his investment in the payments company Adyen, where Index was the first institutional investor. Adyen went public in 2018 and has since proven to be a successful venture.
Other key investments made by Hammer include Wise, an international money transfer provider that went public through a direct listing in 2021, the operations management app SafetyCulture, and Capitolis, a capital market streamlining app. These investments further reflect Hammer’s talent for spotting promising startups in diverse tech sectors.
In addition to his investment prowess, Hammer has shown a strong commitment to the arts. He has worked with London’s modern art gallery Tate for several years, helping to expand its collection of works from Central and Eastern Europe. This intersection of business and art highlights Hammer’s wide-ranging interests and contributions.
1. Danny Rimer
Danny Rimer, a Swiss-Canadian investor, has made a significant impact in the technology investment sector. Rimer, who moved back and forth between the U.S. and the U.K. over the past three decades, has earned a remarkable reputation for fostering artistic and creative enterprises. His pivotal role in establishing the London and San Francisco branches of Index Ventures in 2002 and 2012 has significantly contributed to the company’s growth and success.
His investment portfolio is diverse, extending from Etsy and Patreon to Discord and Glossier. However, his seed investment in Figma, a design startup, has been his most notable achievement to date. It culminated in a $20 billion takeover offer from Adobe in 2022. Although it remains to be seen whether the U.S. Department of Justice will approve this merger, Rimer’s investment has already demonstrated tremendous potential and a keen eye for innovative startups. His successful investments have not only enabled him to skyrocket 55 positions up the Midas List but also placed him among four Index Ventures colleagues on the list.
Beyond his role as a venture capitalist, Rimer’s interest in art has led him to serve on the board of SFMOMA and to be appointed as a trustee of Britain’s Tate Galleries in 2022. His passion for art complements his interest in fostering creativity and innovation, making him a unique figure in the technology investment landscape.