Which Tech Startups Will Make the Most of This SWEET News?

Venture capital investment firm Index Ventures is launching a new 350 million euro, or $441 million, fund that it plans to spend on around 35 early-stage technology companies over the next three years. Index Ventures was an early investor in several Internet businesses, including Skype, which is now owned by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), MySQL, and Lovefilm, a Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) competitor in the U.K. It also invested in mobile-payments company Boku, online-music service Lastfm, and cloud storage company Dropbox.

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“In terms of where the rubber meets the road in our business, it’s really early stage,” partner Neil Rimer told GigaOM. “It’s meeting two guys with an idea and an early version of the site and deciding to help them. This is our core, this is really what we do.”

For its latest batch of investments, Index Ventures hopes to focus on areas such as marketplaces, big data, and knowledge. According to Rimer, the fund is hoping to get returns of ten times the investment with each venture. “The best funds return between three and 10 times the fund, and sometimes more than that. We’re shooting for 10 times,” he said.

Index launched a 150 million euro life-sciences fund in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) earlier this year, and a 500 million euro fund for later-stage investments in November. The fund, headquartered in Switzerland, is clearly shrugging off concerns about returns from European venture capital as well as fears associated with long-terms investments such as technology with this latest move.

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