Latest Posts

At the launch of Europe Meets China, our new report on the games industry, our Head of Research (and the report’s author) Tom Wehmeier spoke at length to the Atomico Games Team – Mattias Ljungman, Alexis Bonte and Stephen Thorne – about their thoughts on the state of the industry, its direction, and how they see Europe and China competing and consolidating in the future…

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We recently took a few minutes to ask Iñigo Juantegui, CEO and co-founder of our latest investment OnTruck, a few questions about his founder journey, and what he sees as the most important qualities in entrepreneurship…

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12.05.2017

Another edition of our almost-fortnightly series of Need-to-Know briefings, this week bringing you the inside track on the new data economy, the role of government in machine learning, Chinese challengers and some new emerging trends in Europe’s investor landscape…

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It is no secret that the global transportation sector is being re-defined by technology and that this is leading to fundamental changes in how people live.   The ride-sharing model is the clearest example of this from a consumer perspective, allowing people to give up individual car ownership, generating personal savings and yet still feel like they are more mobile. This transformation continues with the mainstream adoption of fully electric challenger car brands like Tesla, and next generation companies like Lilium with electric vertical takeoff and landing jets for mass commuter transport!

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Farmdrop, the online grocery platform that connects farmers and producers directly with local customers, makes us all feel good about what we do. Investing in ambitious founders who are using technology to disrupt large sectors is our job. But when those companies are also profoundly transforming a facet of people’s lives, making them better, healthier and more sustainable, we are thrilled.

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It’s long been our conviction that entrepreneurs will solve humanity’s greatest and deepest challenges. With the global population expected to reach 9.7bn by 2050, and the rate of urbanisation increasing, we face few greater challenges than rising pollution and congestion in our cities. As our streets become ever more crowded, we need to rethink and reconfigure the way we live and move around – especially over short distances. In China alone, the population makes around 1.8bn daily trips, but around 45% of those trips are shorter than 5km. Furthermore, fixed stations and stops often don’t serve travellers for “the last mile” of their journey. Cycling is the answer – it’s faster than walking, and provides better accessibility, for a lower cost – with the benefit of no carbon emissions.

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Today we are proud to announce our new fund. At $765m Atomico IV is one of the largest venture capital funds ever raised in Europe and will enable us to do more of what we love: work with the most ambitious founders who combine disruptive technology with the vision to build global category winners.

We’ll continue to invest in companies, from Series A onwards, that have achieved product market fit and are ready to scale. You can read our manifesto that guides every decision we make here.

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Pipedrive is something of a special investment for Atomico. During their time at Skype, many of our team experienced first-hand the outstanding talent and entrepreneurial spirit that’s fostered in Estonia, including Niklas Zennström, co-founder of both Skype and Atomico. Skype was built in Estonia, and Estonian talent was absolutely fundamental to the development and success of the business. We’re now delighted to be making Atomico’s first investment in an Estonian company – something of a homecoming for us.

The majority of small businesses still use spreadsheets and complicated manual tools to manage their sales processes. While there are numerous established CRM solutions for the enterprise market, the CRM market tailored specifically for SMEs is untapped, and huge (estimated at over $10bn).

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The supply chain is one of the last core functions of business to be disrupted by technology. In many sectors, today’s supply chain is no different to the supply chain used by Henry Ford, with people still using pen and paper to manually record inventory, and telephone calls to manage relationships with suppliers. The supply chain has also been poorly served by legacy players and handheld barcode scanners that are slow, unreliable and can cost five times more than software compatible with off-the-shelf smartphone technology.

With the advent of the on-demand economy and increased levels of competitiveness, the time is ripe for supply chain disruption, and Scandit is leading the way.

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Today, we’re very proud to announce the promotions of Carolina Brochado and Teddie Wardi to Partners at Atomico, showing that we can both develop and attract the best investing talent. Carolina and Teddie have a deep understanding of the sectors and trends shaping Europe’s technology ecosystem. Over the last few years they have led the way in sourcing and due diligence for many of our most promising portfolio companies, while partnering with our founders to add real value when it counts.

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This year Atomico was 10. A decade ago we founded Atomico with three core beliefs: great companies come from anywhere; technology is transforming every sector of our economy and successful battle-scarred entrepreneurs and operators are best placed to help the most disruptive founders succeed.

We are delighted that our vision has become a reality and that Europe is increasingly producing significant talent and expertise in deep technology, ranging from artificial intelligence, to virtual and augmented reality, robotics, and connected devices. This is catching the attention of the region’s investors as well as global technology giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon who are now expanding their engineering centres across Europe to build out their most important products and services.

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At Atomico we believe that the truly ambitious and talented entrepreneurs are now most likely to solve the greatest challenges we face – none more so than making the planet more sustainable.

Lilium Aviation is exactly what we mean by this, and we’re delighted to be extending our investment in the Munich-based company. So, why are we so excited about the company?

First, it’s clear that transportation around the world no longer works. While congestion in cities rises exponentially, making it harder and harder for people to move about, so does pollution. By 2035, there could be 2bn cars on the road. And with air travel excluded from the Paris Climate agreement, the result is obvious – an unsustainable planet.

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We’re really proud of our founder DNA. Our experience means we have huge respect for the founders we work with and we’re able to provide the best operational advice as they scale. It’s also important because we recognise the qualities it takes to succeed – we’ve been there and done it so we know what to look for.

We’ve worked hard over the last decade to build the strongest team in Europe but we’re always on the lookout for fresh, new talent and we love working with people who live and breathe European tech. That’s why we’re excited to welcome Alexis Bonte and Harry Stebbings to our team.

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Following the success of last year’s inaugural State of European Tech report, Atomico has teamed up with Slush once again to produce an in-depth look at what’s going on in the European tech ecosystem.

We set out to establish a clear picture of how Europe's ecosystem has evolved in 2016, and where we need to do more to better support our entrepreneurs and tech talent. With thanks to this year’s data partners – LinkedIn, Meetup, Stack Overflow, Dealroom.co, and the London Stock Exchange amongst others – we’ve identified three major trends underlying the growing influence and success of the
European technology industry.

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By Mattias Ljungman

I want to start by making a prediction: I believe that in the next 10 years we will see a $100B company with technology at its core emerge from Europe.

Back in 2006 when we started Atomico, investors thought we were nuts when I said we wanted to find and back Europe’s next billion dollar company. Fast forward to today and Europe has dozens of billion dollar companies, and now we even have two ten billion dollar companies in Supercell and Zalando. These are not outliers, they’re a taste of things to come.

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The way we find a place to live or to stay on holiday has changed radically in recent years. Technology has transformed the way we search for a new house or find a room to sleep in while we’re on holiday – whether that’s a hotel, an empty house or a spare room. Yet outside the world of holiday rentals, regularly securing a new place to live remains a laborious and complicated process, particularly for students.

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There has never been a more exciting time to be a technology investor in Europe. Ambitious founders across the continent are building innovative businesses with talented developers using frontier technologies. We’ve seen incredible progress in recent years – with 44 billion dollar companies founded since 2003 – but we are ready for far greater success over the next decade. Supercell’s $10B sale is not an outlier but a sign of what’s to come!

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Technology is approaching the greatest inflection point that we have ever seen. As technology disrupts transport, food, financial services, health, real estate and more, all of the new value is going to be created by companies with technology at their core. At the same time, Europe is approaching an inflection point as an ecosystem. When Atomico started, very few people believed that Europe could produce multiple billion-dollar companies. Since then, there have been 44.

Europe has the right ingredients for far greater tech success in the decade to come. The funding is available, there is a healthy new crop of ambitious founders and, with over 1.6m developers across the region, we also possess the key talent. However, scaling a world-leading business is difficult and ambitious entrepreneurs still need guidance, support and advice from experienced tech leaders and experts.

That is why we have spent the last year transforming Atomico into a platform that brings together a critical mass of Europe’s greatest entrepreneurs, executives, and angel investors.

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Today it’s possible to reach almost any corner of Europe by public transport via hundreds of individual air, train and bus companies. However, in the absence of a simple way to compare routes, availability and cost, figuring out the best way to get anywhere continues to be a pain point for millions of travellers.

Last year we invested in GoEuro, a Berlin-based company led by Naren Shaam, which is transforming the way we search and book intra-city travel tickets across Europe. In just three years Naren has put together a world-class team and built from scratch a real-time booking platform for buses and trains connecting more than 500 transport providers across 12 countries in Western Europe – that’s up from 150 providers when we first invested.

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Online video content has exploded over the last few years, and consumers have come to expect high-quality video anywhere, and on any device. As we go forward, this presents a huge technical challenge. It’s the web’s next big problem, but it’s also a huge market opportunity: the time spent watching online video is still less than 20% of linear TV programming. As the viewing habits of millennials become the norm, and new technology like VR and 360 degree video comes to fruition, the web will need to adapt.

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