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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As a European founder and investor, I am hugely proud of what Atomico Partner Tom Wehmeier has created with the annual State of European Tech report; not just because the report has become such a valuable piece of tech research in Europe and beyond but also because of the pride it has instilled in the European tech ecosystem. It has helped to remind us of the great strides we have already made and the opportunities that lie ahead. Last year the report highlighted that deep tech was thriving in Europe and that new tech hubs are emerging; I look forward to seeing what this year’s report will unveil. When we launched the report with our partners at Slush three years ago, we had a simple but huge ambition: to build the most comprehensive, data-driven overview of Europe’s tech landscape, charting the breakthroughs, opportunities and disruptive forces that define its future. We achieved this with last year’s report. It provided one of the most in-depth profiles of European tech, exploring the agents of change that impact us the most, from talent to capital, the rise of deep tech and the strength of tech communities. What makes me most proud is how it has been […]

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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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By any objective measure – capital invested, number of funding rounds or number of $B+ companies  – Germany is one of Europe’s tech powerhouses. In light of Brexit, they may be even be making a run at #1, notwithstanding the resurgent French tech scene. However when you look at Europe’s breakout technology companies, while other countries in Europe have produced giants in fintech (Klarna, Adyen, Funding Circle, Transferwise), gaming (King, Supercell, Unity), music (Spotify) and communication (Skype), Germany’s tech successes have been more focused on e-commerce and marketplaces (until very recently Soundcloud would have been an obvious counter-example – here’s hoping a world-class team and product can create the outcome they deserve)

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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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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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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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On Tuesday 26th July 2016, Hailo and mytaxi announced plans to join forces to create Europe’s largest taxi e-hailing company with over 3 million customers and 100,000 registered taxi drivers in over 50 cities across nine countries.

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Technology has completely transformed the way we search for and book our travel tickets. But with so many ways to get around and so many operating companies, it’s difficult to seek out the best deals. Berlin-based GoEuro has developed a single platform enabling people to find the fastest, cheapest and simplest way of getting from Amsterdam to Barcelona, whether by rail, bus, air or car.

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Like successful companies, successful ecosystems go through distinct stages. Having conducted one of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken into European tech, it is clear to us that 2015 has been a breakthrough year in which our major hubs have gone to a new level.

View our report in full:

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Atomico was founded on the belief that great technology companies can come from anywhere, not just Silicon Valley. We have always believed that the greatest opportunity available to investors today is in identifying these companies in tech hubs like Berlin, Helsinki, London and Stockholm, and adding genuine value to them through our experience and expertise.

This week we are extremely proud to see two of our portfolio companies achieve huge milestones that are testament to this belief.

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This is the best time in history to be a technology entrepreneur in Europe, or indeed outside Silicon Valley.

Over the past decade, the start-up world has undergone huge change. As data we published last year showed, the majority of billion-dollar internet companies founded since 2003 were actually built outside the Valley. For me personally, the journey has been eye-opening – from the early days at Skype, when most people dismissed the idea of building a company from Sweden, to today, when Atomico is proud to be an investor in Supercell, Truecaller, Klarna, ZocDoc and other successful companies that started life in places like Helsinki, Stockholm, New York, London and elsewhere.

How has a change this dramatic been possible in such a short time?

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In order to find the world’s best entrepreneurs and help them scale internationally, we’ve always believed in the importance of a global team with deep experience and world-class insight.

Today, we’re proud to be adding to our presence in London, Beijing, Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Istanbul, by taking space in Berlin too. Berlin has a fast-growing ecosystem that we’ve been actively involved in for many years, including making an investment in 6Wunderkinder, and now we’re excited to double down.

We’ll be taking space in a tech hub we greatly admire – Factory – and our team will be spending plenty of time there. If you’re an entrepreneur there, we look forward to seeing much more of you!

We’re also delighted to welcome Chris Barnes and Yann de Vries to the Atomico team, both of whom will bring decades of experience to our growing network.

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We love working with high-growth companies who we can help to scale domestically and internationally. In 2012 we invested in the outstanding team at Klarna, who are disrupting the huge and fast-growing online payment market – and we're delighted to say we're now increasing our investment by helping to back Klarna's acquisition of SOFORT in Germany.

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We know that great companies can come from anywhere, and we spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley who have the potential to build international, category-winning businesses. So when we first met Berlin-based entrepreneur Christian Reber, we knew that he and his co-founders were creating something special with 6Wunderkinder and their beautiful to-do list product Wunderlist.

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