This is the best time in history to be a technology entrepreneur in Europe, or indeed outside Silicon Valley.

Over the past decade, the start-up world has undergone huge change. As data we published last year showed, the majority of billion-dollar internet companies founded since 2003 were actually built outside the Valley. For me personally, the journey has been eye-opening – from the early days at Skype, when most people dismissed the idea of building a company from Sweden, to today, when Atomico is proud to be an investor in Supercell, Truecaller, Klarna, ZocDoc and other successful companies that started life in places like Helsinki, Stockholm, New York, London and elsewhere.

How has a change this dramatic been possible in such a short time?

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Atomico was founded on the idea that great companies can come from anywhere, and the ambition to find the world's best entrepreneurs and help them scale their companies globally. That means bringing together a team with deep insight, networks, and experience of scaling – from top-tier investment professionals, to our international team across China, Japan, Brazil and Turkey as well as London, to leaders in talent and communications.

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Future Fifty recognises the UK’s most innovative and potentially transformative growth companies. It’s a great programme that helps the chosen businesses find support and advice from the UK Government and private sector experts to help them become world-class companies.

So we are delighted that ChemistDirect is one of this year’s very select group of Future Fifty. It’s a brilliant recognition of not only the hard work from CEO Stuart Rowe and everyone in the business – but a sign of the huge potential that the company has.

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Atomico has just hired Dan Hynes as our Managing Director for Talent. Dan, the former Director of Global Staffing at Skype join our growing Value Creation Team, a team dedicated to supporting our portfolio companies and sharing best practices.

Dan's arrival means we now have a dedicated resource to help our portfolio companies recruit great people to support their growth. It is the people who make the difference between a good company and a great one, and ultimately industries are redefined by the raw talent of individuals. Dan has unrivalled global experience, and a unique network and knowledge working with high growth companies that have successfully scaled globally.

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London, UK – Friday 18th May 2012: Quipper, the e-learning start-up led by Masa Watanabe, a co-founder of Japanese mobile social gaming company DeNA, today announced that it has raised £2.3m ($3.6m) of Series A funding.

The London-based company also revealed that its users have answered questions on the platform 85m times since it launched in October.

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Fon, the world’s largest WiFi network, announced today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, that it has secured €10 million ($13.5 million) in new funding led by Atomico, the venture capital firm founded by Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype. 

Coral Group and other existing Fon investors also contributed to the round designed to help Fon take advantage of the growing demand for WiFi from smartphone and tablet users, and to expand their efforts in the US and elsewhere. The funding follows previous rounds, which raised a total of more than €40m since the company was founded by serial entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky (Jazztel, Viatel) in 2006.

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