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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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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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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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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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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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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