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23.10.2017

After a short hiatus, Atomico’s regular roundup of interesting, under-the-radar news from the world of tech, founders and VCs returns, courtesy of Tom and Stephen; this edition features the possibility of a bear market, London as Europe’s top dog for founders, and the continuing growth in European VC…

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At Atomico, two of our deepest convictions are that great companies can come from anywhere and that Europe is increasingly leading the world in the field of deep tech. As Europe’s ambition levels continue to rise, we are seeing a level of tenacity and resilience here that is unparalleled in other places around the world, especially in areas like deep tech.   Yet even though we are right at the heart of Europe’s technology revolution, sometimes even we encounter levels of tenacity and deep tech that take us by surprise in their ability to raise the bar on a global scale.   Amsterdam-based MessageBird, and founder and CEO Robert Vis, are the perfect example of this collision of relentless ambition and tenacity colliding with Europe’s rich heritage in building deep tech companies.

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  Today we’re very happy to congratulate the team at Rovio on the company’s initial public offering in its native Finland. An IPO is an incredible achievement and is a reflection of the years of hard work, passion and commitment shown by all of our friends on the team there.   We’ve believed in Rovio from the beginning, and it has been a privilege to have been invited to play a small part in their journey since their Series A round back in 2011. Back then we were struck by the ambition and imagination of the team, which continues to shine today. Just because you come from a country of 5.5 million, doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact on billions of people. Rovio is just the latest example of a team from Europe proving that great companies can, and do, come from anywhere.

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In the latest of our occasional series of interviews with founders and CEOs – distributed each month through the Atomico newsletter, which you can sign up to here – we talk to Remo Gerber of Lilium…

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  At Atomico we take investing in fun seriously. Our recent report on the evolution of the games industry shows that it is now worth over $100bn in annual revenue. We’ve seen the explosive growth in the games sector first-hand on our journeys with portfolio companies Supercell and Rovio as they’ve scaled around the world, delighting millions with their creations.   While mobile gaming has enjoyed a meteoric rise, we’re now also seeing a renaissance in groundbreaking PC gaming, and in particular in independent PC games studios. Worlds Adrift is setting new standards of ambition and creativity, and we’re thrilled to announce we’re leading a $10m Series A investment in Worlds Adrift’s developer, BAFTA-winning, London-based Bossa Studios.

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08.09.2017

Here’s the latest of our insights digest, lovingly prepared by Tom & Stephen – this week, they cast their analytical eyes over the future of IPOs, health data in AI, and the state of the app market in the US, amongst other things. Enjoy!

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When we published our Manifesto earlier this year, we stated that as a firm we have not been passive spectators as Europe has built its own vibrant technology ecosystem. Rather, we are proud to have been relentless advocates for its growing strength and depth. And we’ll continue doing so because it’s critical to the future of not only the companies in which we invest but Europe’s future too.   We’ve long since observed that Europe wasn’t doing enough to tell it’s own story, and we were constantly being confronted with myths that technology and entrepreneurship could only prosper in Silicon Valley. We knew, from spending day in and day out with European founders, what was really going on in Europe.   But technology is an industry that moves at a million miles an hour and, as a result, investing moves at a similar pace. Finding and investing in the very best European founders is a relentless task, and one we relish, but in Europe it is uniquely travel intensive as we began to prove out our thesis that great companies really are now coming from anywhere.

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Nearly a century after Henry Ford gave up on his vision of mass-produced ‘Model Ts of the air’, the dream of ‘anywhere, anytime flying’ moves a step closer today with the announcement that Lilium has raised a $90m Series B funding round.   Led by our friends at Tencent, with Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams’ Obvious Ventures and Lichtenstein-based LGT Group also joining us in this Series B round, the Munich-based startup, which is building the world’s first five-seat all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet, will shift into accelerated development mode, bringing the company’s vision of ubiquitous and affordable zero-emissions air taxis – summoned at the tap of a smartphone – closer to realisation.     As we wrote when we announced our Series A investment in Lilium’s breakthrough tech in December 2016, we believe exceptional entrepreneurs, empowered by technology, are best-placed to solve some of humanity’s most entrenched and seemingly intractable problems.     Lilium addresses several of them: gridlocked cities with public transportation systems groaning under demand they cannot expand quickly enough to serve; pollution choking town and city centres; lengthy, mind-numbingly slow daily commutes reducing our downtime and family time; parts of the world with […]

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At Atomico, we’re on a mission to look for the most ambitious founders, the people who want to build the next leader in their category or the company that changes a fundamental component of our economy and society. The founders who want to use technology to rewire the world in favour of something better for as many people as possible.

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24.08.2017

Some of you might still be on holiday, but we’re still here, bringing you insights instead of sitting on a beach (we’re not bitter, honest). This week, we take a look at European tech IPO performance, the growth in ‘useful’ AR, and increased EU regulation of chinese takeovers – it’s another Need-to-Know!

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  In January of this year we published our Manifesto as a venture capital firm for the very first time. In it we stated our belief that while the last decade has seen the most profound changes to how we communicate, keep in touch with friends, entertain ourselves, or even start businesses – all driven by technological innovation – the next will see change at a far more ambitious and meaningful scale. In particular, how we use increasingly scarce natural resources, access food and water and build a more sustainable planet. We believe with deep conviction that in our lifetime, entrepreneurs will use technology to solve some of humanity’s greatest and deepest challenges.

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10.08.2017

Whilst much of Europe may be off on holiday, here at Atomico we never rest. Well, that’s not strictly true, but it does sometimes feel that way looking at the continued output of Tom and Stephen, who once again have trawled through the news to find some of the less-storied stories which you really ought to be abreast of.  From cryptoassets to startup Campuses, by way of medical ethics and the expanding AutoTech market, this is what you Need-to-Know…

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In the latest of our occasional series of interviews with founders and CEOs – distributed each month through the Atomico newsletter, which you can sign up to here – we talk to Ari Mir of Clutter…

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The delivery of healthcare today is broken; accessibility and quality of care can vary widely. We believe digital technology can provide preventive programs to avoid surgery and deal with problems before they become major issues. Hinge Health is at the forefront of this within the musculoskeletal (MSK) realm.

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Machine intelligence has, in recent years, emerged as one of the most exciting new frontiers in technology. It is powering innovative new approaches to tackling issues across almost every industry, from autonomous vehicles to agriculture and medicine. At Atomico we’re big believers that technology is not only capable of solving some of humanity’s biggest problems, but is indeed necessary to do so. Software, however, relies on hardware to deliver its potential. And when it comes to AI, current hardware is proving a poor fit for the task.

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Last year I wrote a post on Medium decrying the often less-than-smart approach to hiring taken by startups in Europe, and talking about how this was often impacting their ability to scale as a result. We held an event in July on hiring advice for Series A and B founders (video embedded below) – ahead of that, I thought it might be useful to revisit the topic and share some more of my thinking with you. You can read my original post here, but let me summarise my arguments for you again in case you’re feeling a little TL;DR:

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28.06.2017

We’re back again with the latest insights from Tom and Stephen, this week focusing on dual Europe-US companies, McKinsey’s thoughts on how tech giants are approaching AI, and the potential implications for tech investment and innovation of regulation…

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In the latest of our occasional series of interviews with founders and CEOs – distributed each month through the Atomico newsletter, which you can sign up to here – we talk to Kati Levoranta of Rovio

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Our thesis is that great companies now come from everywhere and so we’re always on the move, looking to find the most ambitious entrepreneurs, to help them execute their plans to improve the way we live. At Atomico we invest in global opportunities where we know that we can help scale a business in specific markets around the world. One of the places we’ve been spending time recently, and where we see clear momentum around the tech scene, is Los Angeles. And we believe we’ve unearthed a global category leader in LA-headquartered Clutter.

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Over the last few years traditional industries have embraced the power of technology. In 2016, two thirds of Europe’s largest corporates by market cap made a direct investment in a tech company, while one third acquired a tech company since the beginning of 2015. For many, their interest goes even further than transactions – 40% are running active tech-focused accelerator programmes and over half have their own corporate venture funds including Axel Springer, Allianz and Deutsche Telekom.

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