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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As humans we progress incrementally – through constant advances in technology, science, commerce and many other endeavours. We build bit-by-bit on what has gone before, gradually improving our world.   But there are also genuine breakthrough moments, seismic shifts that change the way we think and define what the future will look like.   To be privy to these moments, and even involved in making them happen, is a true honour.   As a founder they are what you strive for and the memory that most endures.

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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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The latest in our regular series of useful snippets of information from the founder / VC space which you may have missed, this week taking in insights on European investment figures, Facebook’s F8 event and the future of AR, and the wisdom of Jeff Bezos…

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13.04.2017

Last week, Google DeepMind announced that they had open sourced Sonnet, a software library that draws on DeepMind’s internal best practices for quickly building neural network modules in TensorFlow. This is a great resource, leveraging the collective experiences of some of their 250 highly skilled engineers, released to enable others to more effectively apply machine learning to their problems. In fact, over the last few years, the world’s biggest tech companies (including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Baidu, Amazon and more) and university research labs have open sourced at least 2.5 million lines of machine learning platform code (see table below), which equates to over 650 man years or $80m in development costs. These toolkits are now freely available online, and many such as TensorFlow and Paddle are accompanied by significant volumes of training and example materials. As such, they can be viewed as an incredible initial investment into any company looking to use machine learning as an enabling technology for their product.

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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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The latest in our regular series of useful snippets of information from the founder / VC space which you may have missed, this week taking in insights on Family Offices, Chinese investment in Europe and the gender imbalance in tech…

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Our latest roundup of the most interesting and insightful facts from the founder and VC ecosystem over the past fortnight, intended to highlight some things we thought important which you might have missed…

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This post originally appeared on Medium. If you ask a passerby about France, you are likely to get bombarded with clichés — you’ll get the wine, the cheese and the baguette thrown back at you within 30 seconds. If you’re lucky, you may get something on Camus or Baudelaire (but then you have really lucked out, so do pinch yourself). French tech is probably the last thing that would come up in the conversation. This, though, has been quietly, and rapidly, changing — the tech scene in France is gaining massive traction.

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This post originally appeared on Medium,  If you look at the six most valuable public companies in the world today, you will notice something striking. Five of them are the tech companies Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, founded on the West Coast of the US between 1975 and 2004, three of whom who have achieved this ‘most valuable’ status in the last five years.

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This is Atomico’s “Need-to-Know”, the first in our new series of ‘things we (@atomico) found interesting and important in tech and VC land over the past fortnight, but that didn’t necessarily get the attention they deserved’. We think of them as our hidden little gems. We’ll be posting them here and on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as including a roundup in our forthcoming newsletter, so there’s really no excuse for not keeping up-to-date…

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This post first appeared on Medium, and was written to coincide with the Nordic AI festival, taking place on 7 March 2017 in Copenhagen. Bill Gates a couple of weeks ago said something pretty extraordinary: he suggested that a so-called “robot tax” might not be a bad idea. The socialist candidate for the upcoming French election, Benoît Hamon, has made this idea part of his platform. Nobody was talking like this just two short years ago. How has this now become such a prominent topic and entered the mainstream?

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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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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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