Amsterdamers Koen Bok and Jorn van Dijk exited their first company to Facebook where they worked on product, presenting ideas directly to Mark Zuckerberg. But these born entrepreneurs were not content to rest on their laurels, knowing that the product design process remains woefully fragmented despite the growing importance of product in all industries. They were driven to found again.   The world’s best technology companies have a large portion of their teams in product-related activities, while Fortune 500 companies still have very few product employees. That is despite the fact that every business is now a digital business. Great product design is increasingly becoming a major predictor of success for any company –  users expect outstanding experiences and those incumbents who are slow to adapt lose to new digital-first challengers. Yet the path to make great products is complex. Designers may have to use several different software platforms across any of the eight stages of building a prototype. This complexity is further compounded during handovers and feedback processes, causing great ideas to get lost between the intention and execution of interactive product ideas.   Koen and Jorn decided to found Framer, with the aim of building the only […]

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  At Atomico, finding, hiring and developing the next generation of European leaders in venture capital is the most important thing we do and Sophia is an incredible example of that.     When Sophia Bendz started as the first non-technical hire at Spotify in 2007, Europe was not seen as a bastion of tech giants. Since then, Europe has produced 50 billion-dollar companies, including the streaming music giant. Yet scaling a world-leading business is difficult and ambitious entrepreneurs still need guidance, support and advice from experienced tech leaders and operators.   Sophia has been completely aligned with our vision from day one, that entrepreneurs are the ultimate positive gamechangers in society, and has a proven track record of building trusted relationships with founders as a true partner. After working closely with her for nearly three years as Executive-In-Residence (XiR), we are delighted to announce she has become our newest Partner at Atomico. Sophia will focus on Nordic sourcing activities and our long-standing relationship with her gives us the utmost confidence she will thrive in her new role. We can think of no one better to help find and mentor the next generation of European tech talent. Sophia served as […]

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  Permissionless blockchains, like the ones that power most digital currencies, allow anyone to participate. But that freedom means that everyone sees everyone (transactions are not necessarily private) and everyone does everything (causing limited transaction throughput).   That’s why Professor Eli Ben-Sasson and Professor Alessandro Chiesa, Uri Kolodny, and Michael Riabzev decided to found StarkWare. They’re creating  a product that builds on zero knowledge proofs, or a way of authenticating something without giving away information. For example, proving to someone that you have over a certain amount in your bank account without actually telling them how much you have in your account (for a great simple explanation, read this.). StarkWare’s solution is efficient and transparent, and can be applied to many blockchains, potentially making it a fundamental solution in solving the privacy issues inherent in today’s permissionless blockchains while increasing transaction speed. The compression that Starkware allows reduces costs by 100x, which will be fundamental to any cryptocurrency looking to become widely adopted.   Atomico is excited to announce we’re participating in StarkWare’s Series A to back these experienced founders alongside some of the most knowledgeable investors in this space, including Paradigm (co-founded by Matt Huang, formerly a partner at Sequoia, […]

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At its height, Finland’s mobile giant Nokia made up 4% of the country’s economy and had over 40% of the world mobile phone market. Nokia’s break-up after the world financial crisis was a shock to the country. Microsoft, which bought Nokia’s mobile phone business in 2014, ultimately sold the brand. But the downfall of the mobile phone giant left a unique and highly concentrated and deep pool of world-class European talent with experience solving problems in both hardware and software. Some went on to help create some of the world’s most famous gaming companies such as Rovio and Supercell. And a few decided they wanted to revolutionize industry with virtual reality.   This last group, Niko Eiden, Urho Konttori, Klaus Melakari, and Roope Rainisto, all had worked at both Nokia and Microsoft on everything from operating systems, optics, user experience, and design. This exceptionally talented technical team believed that enterprises would be using VR and mixed reality (XR) as normally as they currently use screen displays today, and had a vision to create the platform for multimedia interaction.  Thus they created Varjo.   Varjo founders (clockwise from top left): CEO Urho Konttori, CTO Klaus Melakari, Head of BD Niko Eiden […]

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  2018 has been a big year for Atomico. Our CEO, Niklas Zennström, spoke to Former U.S. President Barack Obama, we’ve partnered with amazing, game-changing founders across Europe, and we’ve strengthened our team to help find even more ambitious founders and support the growth of their companies.      2018 has also been a big year for European technology. We’d like your help telling this story.   In December 2018, Atomico, in partnership with Slush and Orrick, will publish their annual State of European Tech report, the largest data set on the region’s tech ecosystem.     A core part of the report is an annual survey of the people that make up the European ecosystem: the entrepreneurs, investors, developers and the individuals across Europe’s many start-up hubs.   Lend your voice to challenging assumptions and inspiring conversations around Europe’s amazing successes by participating in the survey. It only takes 8 minutes.   This year we’re focusing on diversity and inclusion in particular. What steps are investors and founders taking to improve diversity and inclusion? Have people in the community experienced discrimination? Your responses will help the region move the conversation forward about these topics.   Oh, and, Slush is […]

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Welcome (L-R): Associate Luca Eisenstecken, IR Associate Gunita Bhasin, Communications Manager Eleanor Warnock, Associate Christina Fa, Senior Associate Annalise Dragic, Principal Irina Haivas & Partner Caroline Chayot   When Atomico started, very few people believed that Europe could produce multiple billion-dollar companies. Since then, there have been over 50. Now, more than ever, we believe with deepest conviction and a sense of pressing urgency that Europe has the right ingredients for far greater tech success in the decade to come.   That’s why Atomico is strengthening our unique team model of experienced investors, founders, and operators with seven new hires across our Growth Acceleration, Investment, Communications and IR teams. Our mission is to identify the most ambitious founders, building category-winning companies, and help them scale a world-leading business. With these seven new hires, our offer for European founders is only going from strength to strength.   Atomico Partner Caroline Chayot   With that in mind, we’re excited to announce today that Caroline Chayot is joining Atomico as Partner. Prior to joining Atomico, Caroline was Head of People EMEA at Twitter, where she supported the leadership team scale the business from two to six markets and grow the team from 80 […]

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  Two billion people – or 80% of the world’s workforce – do not spend their day at a desk. As a result, this massive scattered workforce is often forgotten when it comes to the rapid advances in workplace productivity software the rest of us often take for granted. In many industries, knowledge workers back at HQ get more and more productive while others in the field are often left to fend for themselves.   One of the core problems with workforce communication and management: in the absence of a a corporate email address, how does a security worker talk to HR? How does a cleaner reach out to a colleague or manager?   Aligning employees without email addresses or corporate devices with the entire organisation in a centralised, secure environment is a major challenge. 75% of the non-desk workforce currently use their personal mobile devices to communicate with co-workers, and the lack of functional tools usually forces employees to use consumer-based workarounds like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Even aside from the obvious management & oversight challenges associated with this, cybersecurity scandals and GDPR compliance drive home the inadequacy of this approach.   Beekeeper has emphatically solved this problem. They’ve […]

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  We used to be told that what you learned in school would last you a lifetime. In today’s rapidly changing world, that no longer holds true. The rate of change across the average adult career has increased so much in the past decade that there is a growing need for lifelong learning solutions. There are millions of lifelong learners around the world. These people are hungry for new skills and to hone old ones. To explore a new passion. To keep growing.   When we first met founder David Rogier, we were blown away with both the ambition and precision of his vision for Masterclass. David had a bold idea – to make knowledge from the world’s masters accessible to all for lifelong learning – and over the past three years has been working with his team to turn that vision into a reality.   What if you could take acting classes with Helen Mirren? Or cooking classes with Gordon Ramsay? Or filmmaking classes with Martin Scorsese? MasterClass has turned what sounds like a farfetched vision that would only ever be accessible by a few into a reality for everyone, anywhere.   At Atomico, we embrace continuous learning because […]

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Today, we’re delighted to announce our investment in Lime. Led by co-founders Brad Bao and Toby Sun, Lime is an organisation driving behavioural change at mass scale and lightning speed.   We set out to back founders who can address the world’s biggest challenges, and improve the way we live. Moving more people more frequently, decongesting cities, and improving air quality for those who live there, are certainly monumental challenges. Lime’s e-bikes and scooters tackle them in a sustainable, affordable, and convenient way.   At Atomico, as mobility continues to be disrupted, we are looking to back multiple solutions – especially if consumers love it and it is better for the city too. One of those areas is micro-mobility.   The ability to unlock, jump on and off Lime’s distinctive electric scooters anywhere is already delighting city-dwellers in over 70 locations across the US. In San Francisco, each of the company’s scooters is used an average of nine times a day.  It is clear the ‘form factor’ of the electric scooter is going to be a hit for shorter journeys where ride-hailing, public transport or even walking is not quite right.   The team has ambitious plans for European expansion, and we […]

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We have been saying for some time that the European technology ecosystem is at an inflection point, but 2018 is the year Europe turned that corner.   When Atomico started, very few people believed that Europe could produce multiple billion-dollar companies. Since then, there have been over 60 and – already in April – European tech once again made the world sit up and take notice that we can produce global category-defining software companies, worth tens of billions of dollars and take them public. But this is not the time to become complacent. Now, more than ever, we believe with deepest conviction and a sense of pressing urgency that 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 5.5m 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.   We are committed to Atomico’s role as a pivotal platform in the European tech ecosystem by providing the very best expertise and guidance to our founders […]

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    Manufacturing is a $12tn sector globally, accounting for 17% of global GDP, yet remains largely untouched by the kind of digital technology-enabled transformation that has fundamentally reshaped other global sectors of equal size. As a result, today’s manufacturing industry is also plagued with inefficiencies as high as 30 – 60 percent.   At Atomico, our thesis is that this is all about to change. We believe that the global manufacturing industry is on the brink of a new machine age; one in which the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud analytics, coupled with machine learning and artificial intelligence, are set to transform existing production processes, slash waste, drive incredible efficiencies and increase output. The adoption of data analytics, in particular, to drive efficiencies combats the shortage of in-house data engineering talent and lengthy project roll-outs.   More broadly, our firm-wide thesis is that we exist to find the next generation of world-leading companies, led by exceptional founders, at Series A and beyond. Founders who are keen to reshape the world, or an entire industry, in favour of something better for everyone. Our job is to help accelerate the process of turning those founder’s visions into reality.   […]

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When we published our games investment thesis recently we identified a huge trend in mobile games will be around PC and console game genres that historically haven’t made the successful transition to mobile. We believe there is an opportunity there to create deeper, more engaging games on mobile, that keep players coming back for more.   With that opportunity for Europe to once again dominate on the global games stage, we are very proud to announce today our investment in Paris-based mobile games studio Oh BiBi. Oh BiBi is on a mission to create beautiful, fun and seductive mobile-first experiences of the world’s most successful PC and console game genres.   Put simply, we believe that Oh BiBi is the best games company in the industry to tackle this challenge of going after the big PC and console genres. Oh BiBi founders Stanislas Dewavrin and Martial Valery have enormous global ambition levels, are visionary European entrepreneurs and have 18 years experience in building blockbuster mobile games and 150 titles between them including Minion Rush (860m players) and Asphalt (650m players). Oh BiBi, whose mobile-first arcade racing title SUP has already attracted 30m downloads to date, are now taking on the […]

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  Recently, our Atomico games team outlined their investment thesis in an extensive two part blog post.   In that post we said that it is still early days for games and there are plenty of areas that have yet to be explored, let alone fully tapped. At recent meetings with companies, we’ve seen a number of cool things being done within social, on PC, with Twitch and YouTube. Boundaries continue to blur with the likes of EVE Online (from fellow Icelandic games company CCP), which has an in-game open economy, and Worlds Adrift that pushes the importance of game content creation by gamers even further and makes the integration of emerging player stories and sharing them on video platforms such as Twitch central to its marketing.   We also stated that the growing social element of a game is why we think another giant will soon emerge, built on a fusion of gaming and social networking. People are united by games — they always have been. From cards or chess to playing Doom or Civilization with your friends, as Mattias and Alexis did back in the early nineties — games are a fundamentally social activity; an ice-breaker between cultures and people as you […]

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Fat Lama co-founders Chaz Englander, Rosie Dallas & Owen Turner-Major   It is no secret that mass consumption and shopping have become a way of life. From fast fashion to the next iPhone, as consumers, we are seemingly conditioned to no longer wait for something to break or even wear down before getting excited about the next new thing.   As AirBnB co-founder Brian Chesky once famously summarised it in an interview with the New York Times, “There are 80 million power drills in America that are used an average of 13 minutes, does everyone really need their own drill?”   In our lifetimes, each of us will accumulate a large quantity of items that we completely under-utilize. At the same time, with urbanisation increasing, there is a large number of people in our surrounding communities who could find a clear use for these products if they could access them when we are not using them. This prevailing “take, make, use, throw” economic model, that has no doubt driven many a corporate bottom line for many years, is sadly taking its toll on our planet too, straining under the weight of our throwaway consumer culture.   When you take into […]

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In part two of our series on games investing at Atomico, I am joined by my fellow Games Team members and co-authors Stephen Thorne and Alexis Bonte as we lift the lid on our evaluation framework for any companies considering raising venture capital, we share the inside track on how Atomico works with our games company founders, and, finally, we share our view on what’s next for games in Europe in 2018 and beyond.   According to legend, the Chinese Emperor Yao 堯 (2356–2255 BC) designed Go for his wayward playboy son, Danzhu 丹朱, to instil in him discipline, concentration, and balance. Four thousand years later, games still have the power to inspire profound changes to the way we communicate, keep in touch with friends, even start businesses or learn the basic skills of life, and yes, entertain ourselves too. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Part Two: Hunting the next Supercell. Our evaluation framework There’s no silver bullet or magic formula for spotting the next great games company (or sure-fire hit game), and data alone will only get you so far… So at Atomico we have developed a framework for evaluating games by zeroing-in on the characteristics we believe the best-in-class […]

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This post originally appeared on Medium here. If you’d like more analysis and insight like this, delivered monthly(ish) to your inbox, sign up to The Operator’s Manual (our newsletter) here. Part One: Landscape and Heritage.   If there’s one area of the technology ecosystem in which Europe out-guns the Valley and – China aside – the rest of the world, it’s in games.   The European games industry is a non-stop unicorn juggernaut: more than a quarter (25.9%) of all the billion dollar-plus games companies founded over the last 15 years were born here. Among them, of course, a slew of Scandinavian household names such as Supercell (Finland), King (Sweden/UK), Rovio (Finland), Mojang (Sweden) and games engine-maker Unity (Denmark). The US, by contrast, has just three.   When you take into account the sheer scale and effervescence of the Chinese market – China overtook the US in 2016 to become the world’s largest market by spend, where gamers now spend over $25bn-a-year on games – it comes as no surprise that the country dominates the sector overall, claiming 11 of the 27 billion dollar-plus games companies founded over that period.   However – tellingly — if you focus on the […]

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Thanks to the internet and mobile revolution, consumers today expect an always-on approach to service from the brands and companies they love. Yet to date it has been nearly impossible for companies to achieve the reverse – an always-on way of engaging with their customer base, at global scale, to quickly and accurately understand their evolving needs and behaviours.   Data released by ITU, the UN agency for information and communication technologies, shows that 80% of young people now use the internet, and this number is only set to increase as more and more of the developing world comes online in the coming decade. More than half the world’s population is predicted to not only be online by 2020, but to be using a mobile device as their primary method of accessing the internet. That’s a lot of mobile devices enabling the real-time exchange of information between people. When you add all this together, it seems counter-intuitive that the closest industry we have to trying to understand how real people engage with the world around them is an incumbent $40B a year research market that is still dominated by large network agencies, static surveys and cold calling.   We all […]

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Tech.eu meets Atomico’s Growth Acceleration Team on Vimeo.   At Atomico, we’ve spent years building the most experienced team of founders, investors and operators to help European entrepreneurs take a product that works and make it a global success.   We have done this because we know, from first-hand experience, that scaling a company is hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.   A critical component of our approach, and one of our key differentiators in the European market, is our Growth Acceleration Team.     Every member of the Atomico Growth Acceleration Team has hard-won experience founding or scaling some of the most successful companies in the world – Facebook, Uber, Skype, Supercell, Spotify, Virgin and Google. And they work across the world, with experienced people in Europe, China, Japan, South America and the US.   Everyday our Growth Acceleration Team is working hand-in-glove with founders on the hardest aspects of scaling: hiring and retaining the best talent, market-entry and partnerships, user growth, marketing and communications. We deeply respect the drive and vision of our founders but, where necessary, we challenge them and have the hard conversations about focusing on the things that really move the needle.   They work […]

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Happy New Year!   At Atomico, we’re looking forward to the exciting year ahead finding and investing in Europe’s most ambitious founders at Series A and beyond.   To do that we know we need to provide founders with the very the best team, which is why we’ve spent the last few years assembling a unique mix of investors, founders and operators all of whom have hard-won experience they can share. But we’re never complacent and to kick of 2018, we’re proud to announce the addition of two Venture Partners.   Carter Adamson & Alexis Bonte After working with us as Executives-in-Residence for one and two years respectively, Alexis Bonte and Carter Adamson, have agreed to become fully fledged Atomicans and are joining us permanently.   Alexis will continue to combine his advising and sourcing work at Atomico with his leadership role as CEO of eRepublik Labs, which was acquired by Stillfront in June 2017, his new role at Atomico will make it easier for him to share his deep understanding of the games, blockchain and travel sectors to help us find and work with the best founders. In particular Alexis has an extensive network in his native France, as […]

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For the third year in succession, Atomico is proud to present our State of European Tech report – the single, most comprehensive data-driven story of European technology today, which we’re launching onstage at Slush in Helsinki. This year is the biggest and deepest look at the European ecosystem we’ve yet undertaken – which is why we have decided to create an accompanying website at www.stateofeuropeantech.com, where you can download a PDF copy of the report or explore the data at your leisure and download specific charts and graphs for your own use. As in previous years, we’ve been ambitious about the data partners we’ve partnered with: teaming up again with LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, Meetup, Dealroom.co, the London Stock Exchange, Quid, European Startup Initiative, Signal and Invest Europe, and adding new partners including the European Investment Fund, Craft.co, and TokenData. In particular, we’re proud to be supported by both Silicon Valley Bank and Orrick in delivering the research to you. We’ve also surveyed 3,500 people from across Europe, and interviewed some of the biggest names in European tech, such as Herman Narula, Ilkka Paananen, Robin Klein, Jimmy Wales, Reshma Sohoni and Jeannette zu Fürstenberg. So what have we found? You’ll have to read the […]

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