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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  In January of this year we published our Manifesto as a venture capital firm for the very first time. In it we stated our belief that while the last decade has seen the most profound changes to how we communicate, keep in touch with friends, entertain ourselves, or even start businesses – all driven by technological innovation – the next will see change at a far more ambitious and meaningful scale. In particular, how we use increasingly scarce natural resources, access food and water and build a more sustainable planet. We believe with deep conviction that in our lifetime, entrepreneurs will use technology to solve some of humanity’s greatest and deepest challenges.

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10.08.2017

Whilst much of Europe may be off on holiday, here at Atomico we never rest. Well, that’s not strictly true, but it does sometimes feel that way looking at the continued output of Tom and Stephen, who once again have trawled through the news to find some of the less-storied stories which you really ought to be abreast of.  From cryptoassets to startup Campuses, by way of medical ethics and the expanding AutoTech market, this is what you Need-to-Know…

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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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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 Ari Mir of Clutter…

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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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The delivery of healthcare today is broken; accessibility and quality of care can vary widely. We believe digital technology can provide preventive programs to avoid surgery and deal with problems before they become major issues. Hinge Health is at the forefront of this within the musculoskeletal (MSK) realm.

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Machine intelligence has, in recent years, emerged as one of the most exciting new frontiers in technology. It is powering innovative new approaches to tackling issues across almost every industry, from autonomous vehicles to agriculture and medicine. At Atomico we’re big believers that technology is not only capable of solving some of humanity’s biggest problems, but is indeed necessary to do so. Software, however, relies on hardware to deliver its potential. And when it comes to AI, current hardware is proving a poor fit for the task.

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Last year I wrote a post on Medium decrying the often less-than-smart approach to hiring taken by startups in Europe, and talking about how this was often impacting their ability to scale as a result. We held an event in July on hiring advice for Series A and B founders (video embedded below) – ahead of that, I thought it might be useful to revisit the topic and share some more of my thinking with you. You can read my original post here, but let me summarise my arguments for you again in case you’re feeling a little TL;DR:

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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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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 Kati Levoranta of Rovio

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I am often asked how we managed to make Skype a success in one of the most challenging territories in the world – after all, much like Mordor, one does not simply walk into China. While there were many factors at play which conspired to enable us to establish Skype as a serious player in the Chinese market, I thought it would be helpful for founders to read a few of my thoughts on the lessons we learned whilst setting up – following the launch of ‘Europe Meets China’, our report into the games industry, it seemed timely to share these lessons with you. I hope you find them useful:

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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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Our thesis is that great companies now come from everywhere and so we’re always on the move, looking to find the most ambitious entrepreneurs, to help them execute their plans to improve the way we live. At Atomico we invest in global opportunities where we know that we can help scale a business in specific markets around the world. One of the places we’ve been spending time recently, and where we see clear momentum around the tech scene, is Los Angeles. And we believe we’ve unearthed a global category leader in LA-headquartered Clutter.

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Over the last few years traditional industries have embraced the power of technology. In 2016, two thirds of Europe’s largest corporates by market cap made a direct investment in a tech company, while one third acquired a tech company since the beginning of 2015. For many, their interest goes even further than transactions – 40% are running active tech-focused accelerator programmes and over half have their own corporate venture funds including Axel Springer, Allianz and Deutsche Telekom.

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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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