Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bio [June 09 semi-update]


Now based in London, Saul is a Partner at Index Ventures. He is also a Founding Partner of The Accelerator Group (TAG), as well as the founder of OpenCoffee Club and Seedcamp.

Saul joined Index as a Partner in February 2007, having worked with the Index team as a founder (Video Island), an exec (Skype) and as a co-investor (Moo, Mind Candy,, Stardoll, Netlog). He now serves on the boards of MyHeritage, Glassesdirect, Songkick, Alertme and Lovefilm.

Until September 2007 he remained an advisor to Skype, where he had served as a member of the executive team from 2005 through the acqusition by eBay, running global marketing and eCommerce.

TAG is an active seed investor, which Saul runs with Robin, his father.

TAG works closely with top-tier investment partners across Europe and in the US to provide seed stage entrepreneurs with the active support, critical connections and access to capital they need to build ambitious global digital businesses. Some of TAG's investments include:, Daylife, Moo, Wonga, Stardoll, Imagini, Zoopla, Fizzback, Dopplr, Fotonauts, OpenX, Slideshare, Zemanta, Twitterfeed and Tweetdeck.

He also serves on the board of directors of, a non-profit based in Washington DC and South Africa focused on shaping actionable global policy to drive the adoption of ICT in developing countries.

Saul has recently been honoured by the World Technology Network 2006 award for Marketing Communications, he also has written a regular column on New Media for The Guardian.

Before joining Skype, Saul was the Co-Founder & CEO of Lovefilm International (previously Video Island)

Lovefilm International (previously Video Island) manages Europe's largest online DVD rental services with over 1m subscribers in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. Services are delivered directly through it's own brand Lovefilm as well as through a fully integrated platform for leading national brands such as Tesco and easyGroup.

Since its commercial launch in September 2003, Video Island has raised nearly $30m from top-tier venture capital firms Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and DFJ Esprit.

Prior to establishing TAG, Saul was Group Program Manager for Web Platform Services at Microsoft.

At Microsoft, Saul managed the strategy, service definition and roll-out for the Microsoft Passport which now has over 300m subscribers and is at the centre of their .net strategy, as well as driving the $250m acquisition of Link Exchange to accelerate Microsoft's entry into the small business web services market.

In addition, working with the COO, he was also responsible for leading Microsoft's company-wide privacy initiatives, including developing the role of Chief Privacy Officer. Saul managed Microsoft’s relationships with TrustE, Better Business Bureau, the US Federal Trade Commission, US Commerce Department and Online Privacy Alliance, as well as the leading the development of the Microsoft Privacy Wizard for small businesses and Microsoft's relationship with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on the implementation of the ground-breaking Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) technology standard. He is a founding member of TrustE and served on their Board of Directors.

From February 1996 to their acquisition by Microsoft in April 1998, Saul was SVP, Brand & Strategy at Firefly Network.

At Firefly, Saul had overall responsibility for managing marketing, business development and communications, growing Firefly into one of the Web's most recognized brands with over 3m members and 50 customers including Yahoo!, Barnes & Noble, Merrill Lynch, Ziff-Davis, Reuters and Launch.

Saul also oversaw the successful market release of three versions of Firefly’s award-winning advanced personalization software, as well leading Firefly's pioneering P3P and ICE Internet standards initiatives with Microsoft, Netscape, Oracle, Procter & Gamble and Mastercard. Advertising Age recognized him in 1996 as one of their Top 25 Digital Marketers.

Before joining Firefly, Saul was Director of Digital Communications at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

At Ogilvy & Mather, working closely with the CEO, Mindshare, the Chairman, Ogilvy EMEA and the CFO at Ogilvy, Saul established and managed their digital media and e-branding business, working to develop award-winning integrated branding, marketing & media strategies for Guinness, Ford, Unilever, Argos and IBM, as well as launching the UK’s first secure e-commerce platform in partnership with Barclays Bank, and managing Ogilvy & Mather's relationships with the MIT Media Lab, and ICM.

From 1992 to 1994, Saul was at The Telegraph Group in London, where he was responsible for developing the group's electronic publishing strategy and co-founding The Electronic Telegraph, the world's first daily newspaper on the Internet as well as founding Fantasy Football, which added over 1m new readers to the marketing database in its first year of operation and was awarded the Grand Prix of Grand Prix for the best newspaper promotion of the last 30 years.

Selected Articles & Publications:

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