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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After a month’s (appalling, we know) hiatus, Need-to-Know is back, bringing you insights on Scout programmes, autonomous ships and a whole lot more – read on and become enlightened…

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28.06.2017

We’re back again with the latest insights from Tom and Stephen, this week focusing on dual Europe-US companies, McKinsey’s thoughts on how tech giants are approaching AI, and the potential implications for tech investment and innovation of regulation…

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Slightly sooner than normal, our latest update covers complications in China-US investment into AI, Games-as-a-Service, and what the automotive industry thinks comes next in autonomous vehicles…

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Another edition of our almost-fortnightly series of Need-to-Know briefings, this week covering recent IPOs and what they tell us about the market, how founders can sometimes be a barrier to growth, and questions over when the AIs will finally take over…

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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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Two weeks ago, I was honoured to be able to present our research report ‘Europe Meets China’ to an audience of Chinese games industry luminaries in Shanghai. Today I’m equally honoured to be able to share it with the wider world; it’s a fascinating look at one of the biggest and fastest-growing sectors in the world, one which has an almost limitless market, and one which is of growing interest to investors worldwide.   The report, which you can download here and which is embedded below, looks at how the games industry is developing and how its particular qualities make synergies between Europe and China so fascinating, from both a development and investment point of view. Obviously I encourage you to download and read the report yourselves and form your own conclusions from the data we present, but I’d also like to share some thoughts of my own – and from Atomico’s wider gaming team – on what it means and what you should take away from it.   Europe Meets China – How The Games Industry Is Evolving from Atomico

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At Atomico, we’ve long-believed in the great potential for business success in Europe. Since we launched in 2006, Atomico has been banging the drum for the strength of the European ecosystem. Throughout, Estonia has played a key part in the Atomico story, with Niklas having established Skype there back in 2003 and continuing to the present day with our recent investment in Pipedrive. We see the present moment as an inflection point for the tech ecosystem there: funding amounts are heading in the right direction, Tallinn has a greater density of startups per capita than many of the more traditionally revered European hubs, Estonia has a higher density of developers than any other EU country, and of course, with a small domestic market, Estonian startups are all born with an international outlook hardwired into their DNA.

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23.05.2017

Fifteen years ago a technology company shipped PCs, operating systems, or word-processing software. Today, technology companies are at the core of most of the world’s major industries. Look at Facebook, Uber or Airbnb, who all leveraged technology to drive fundamental change in the way things are done. Machine learning is at the start of the same journey. Today it is still an emerging technology, used by a small number of cutting-edge companies to improve their products with more accurate insights or better user experiences.

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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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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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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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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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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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