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.

 

This corporate awakening is excellent for founders who can benefit from growth opportunities, new customer partnerships, more direct investment, and future M&A options across a range of sectors. As we pointed out in our most recent State of European Tech Report European non-tech corporates have $1.5T in cash sitting on their balance sheets, more than any other region globally. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen them start to focus this money increasingly on tech in Europe: Daimler acquired MyTaxi and Hailo, Adidas bought the fitness app Runtastic, BNP Paribas snapped up fintech startup Compte-Nickel, and Europe’s largest hotelier, Accor, acquired OneFineStay – to name just a few.

 

While encouraging, this level of activity is only scratching the surface of what’s possible. Given Europe has one of the world’s largest concentrations of industrialists there are huge opportunities for technological advancement and our wider economy.

 

We believe Atomico has an important role to play in connecting founders developing the most transformative technologies with the businesses who can benefit the most. To do this we need to help businesses better understand the changing nature of the technology landscape and to bridge the gap with the evolving tech community.

 

That’s why we’re delighted to welcome Joen Bonnier to our team as Partner. Joen is a long-standing friend of the firm who will focus on connecting us and our portfolio with traditional industries, corporations and international family-owned and operated businesses so that we can create strategic co-investment opportunities and collaborative relationships.

 

Having spent much of his career in family-owned enterprises, Joen has a deep understanding of the dynamics of family-controlled and traditional businesses. He has over 15 years experience working in the media sector where he held senior positions with Bertelsmann and the Bonnier Group in New York, Scandinavia and China. He holds a board seat on the Bonnier Family Council.

 

As an active player in the startup scene in the Nordics, Joen will also help with sourcing and the evaluation of new investment opportunities.

 

We’re looking forward to bringing together Europe’s corporate heritage with a new generation of successful entrepreneurs so they can build the future together.