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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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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  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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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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