Index Ventures Crossing the Pond

Index Ventures, which is no stranger to U.S.-based startups, announced this morning on its blog it is coming to America to open a fourth office, but it’s first with a U.S. area code.

The location is TBD, but Partners Danny Rimer (pictured) and Mike Volpi have their sights set somewhere on Silicon Valley. As the blog post points out, Index, which has sites in Geneva and London, has always been active in the United States. They’ve invested in 58 companies over the years that launched from the U.S. and have helped 35 more move over from Europe.

In other words, the move is about making their presence official on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Rimer, whose U.S. portfolio includes Factual and Flipboard, and Volpi, who’s involved in and StorSimple, will be in charge of the Silicon Office-based locale. And they plan to bring on an associate, as well.

The move to expand to a U.S. address follows the firm’s decision last year to team up with The Accelerator Group (or TAG) to set up a new seed fund called Seed Index, using capital from its $440 million fund that it raised in 2009, to make more seed-like deals.

In mid-July, when I attended a luncheon in San Francisco with all the partners at Index Ventures and many of their portfolio companies, I broached the subject with several of the VCs about whether it mattered that they’re a European VC firm, but they invest so heavily in the United States. It didn’t, they said, because they all travel here frequently and get plenty of face time with their U.S. entrepreneurs.

So true–it seems most of the time when I have a quick call with Volpi or others, for instance, they’re talking while at a U.S. airport. Now we can meet and chat from the comfort of their U.S. offices.