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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23.10.2017

After a short hiatus, Atomico’s regular roundup of interesting, under-the-radar news from the world of tech, founders and VCs returns, courtesy of Tom and Stephen; this edition features the possibility of a bear market, London as Europe’s top dog for founders, and the continuing growth in European VC…

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At Atomico, two of our deepest convictions are that great companies can come from anywhere and that Europe is increasingly leading the world in the field of deep tech. As Europe’s ambition levels continue to rise, we are seeing a level of tenacity and resilience here that is unparalleled in other places around the world, especially in areas like deep tech.   Yet even though we are right at the heart of Europe’s technology revolution, sometimes even we encounter levels of tenacity and deep tech that take us by surprise in their ability to raise the bar on a global scale.   Amsterdam-based MessageBird, and founder and CEO Robert Vis, are the perfect example of this collision of relentless ambition and tenacity colliding with Europe’s rich heritage in building deep tech companies.

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  Today we’re very happy to congratulate the team at Rovio on the company’s initial public offering in its native Finland. An IPO is an incredible achievement and is a reflection of the years of hard work, passion and commitment shown by all of our friends on the team there.   We’ve believed in Rovio from the beginning, and it has been a privilege to have been invited to play a small part in their journey since their Series A round back in 2011. Back then we were struck by the ambition and imagination of the team, which continues to shine today. Just because you come from a country of 5.5 million, doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact on billions of people. Rovio is just the latest example of a team from Europe proving that great companies can, and do, come from anywhere.

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In the latest of our occasional series of interviews with founders and CEOs – distributed each month through the Atomico newsletter, which you can sign up to here – we talk to Remo Gerber of Lilium…

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As a European founder and investor, I am hugely proud of what Atomico Partner Tom Wehmeier has created with the annual State of European Tech report; not just because the report has become such a valuable piece of tech research in Europe and beyond but also because of the pride it has instilled in the European tech ecosystem. It has helped to remind us of the great strides we have already made and the opportunities that lie ahead. Last year the report highlighted that deep tech was thriving in Europe and that new tech hubs are emerging; I look forward to seeing what this year’s report will unveil. When we launched the report with our partners at Slush three years ago, we had a simple but huge ambition: to build the most comprehensive, data-driven overview of Europe’s tech landscape, charting the breakthroughs, opportunities and disruptive forces that define its future. We achieved this with last year’s report. It provided one of the most in-depth profiles of European tech, exploring the agents of change that impact us the most, from talent to capital, the rise of deep tech and the strength of tech communities. What makes me most proud is how it has been […]

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  At Atomico we take investing in fun seriously. Our recent report on the evolution of the games industry shows that it is now worth over $100bn in annual revenue. We’ve seen the explosive growth in the games sector first-hand on our journeys with portfolio companies Supercell and Rovio as they’ve scaled around the world, delighting millions with their creations.   While mobile gaming has enjoyed a meteoric rise, we’re now also seeing a renaissance in groundbreaking PC gaming, and in particular in independent PC games studios. Worlds Adrift is setting new standards of ambition and creativity, and we’re thrilled to announce we’re leading a $10m Series A investment in Worlds Adrift’s developer, BAFTA-winning, London-based Bossa Studios.

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08.09.2017

Here’s the latest of our insights digest, lovingly prepared by Tom & Stephen – this week, they cast their analytical eyes over the future of IPOs, health data in AI, and the state of the app market in the US, amongst other things. Enjoy!

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When we published our Manifesto earlier this year, we stated that as a firm we have not been passive spectators as Europe has built its own vibrant technology ecosystem. Rather, we are proud to have been relentless advocates for its growing strength and depth. And we’ll continue doing so because it’s critical to the future of not only the companies in which we invest but Europe’s future too.   We’ve long since observed that Europe wasn’t doing enough to tell it’s own story, and we were constantly being confronted with myths that technology and entrepreneurship could only prosper in Silicon Valley. We knew, from spending day in and day out with European founders, what was really going on in Europe.   But technology is an industry that moves at a million miles an hour and, as a result, investing moves at a similar pace. Finding and investing in the very best European founders is a relentless task, and one we relish, but in Europe it is uniquely travel intensive as we began to prove out our thesis that great companies really are now coming from anywhere.

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Nearly a century after Henry Ford gave up on his vision of mass-produced ‘Model Ts of the air’, the dream of ‘anywhere, anytime flying’ moves a step closer today with the announcement that Lilium has raised a $90m Series B funding round.   Led by our friends at Tencent, with Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams’ Obvious Ventures and Lichtenstein-based LGT Group also joining us in this Series B round, the Munich-based startup, which is building the world’s first five-seat all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet, will shift into accelerated development mode, bringing the company’s vision of ubiquitous and affordable zero-emissions air taxis – summoned at the tap of a smartphone – closer to realisation.     As we wrote when we announced our Series A investment in Lilium’s breakthrough tech in December 2016, we believe exceptional entrepreneurs, empowered by technology, are best-placed to solve some of humanity’s most entrenched and seemingly intractable problems.     Lilium addresses several of them: gridlocked cities with public transportation systems groaning under demand they cannot expand quickly enough to serve; pollution choking town and city centres; lengthy, mind-numbingly slow daily commutes reducing our downtime and family time; parts of the world with […]

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At Atomico, we’re on a mission to look for the most ambitious founders, the people who want to build the next leader in their category or the company that changes a fundamental component of our economy and society. The founders who want to use technology to rewire the world in favour of something better for as many people as possible.

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To get more insights like this from Mattias and the rest of the Atomico team, sign up to our monthly(ish) newsletter, The Operator’s Manual, here.    There was a time when Sweden was one of European tech’s best kept secrets. While London and Berlin had the spotlight firmly shining on them, Stockholm and Sweden were barely mentioned. This was despite companies like Spotify, Mojang, Skype, Klarna and King having been built there over the last ten years.   However, with an influx of venture capital, exits and a coming together of the tech community with the monthly Stockholm Tech Meetups and the annual Stockholm Tech Fest happening this week, the noise coming from the north is no longer ignored, with Sweden now rightly considered one of Europe’s strongest tech hubs.

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This is the first post in a series focusing on growth, data analytics and best practices for scaling, aimed at post product-market fit digital businesses. We’ll mix it up with a variety of formats, including content pieces and interviews with operators sharing challenges and learnings – if there’s anything you’d be interested to read about or that you think we ought to focus on, please let us know!  

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24.08.2017

Some of you might still be on holiday, but we’re still here, bringing you insights instead of sitting on a beach (we’re not bitter, honest). This week, we take a look at European tech IPO performance, the growth in ‘useful’ AR, and increased EU regulation of chinese takeovers – it’s another Need-to-Know!

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