At the launch of Europe Meets China, our new report on the games industry, our Head of Research (and the report’s author) Tom Wehmeier spoke at length to the Atomico Games Team – Mattias Ljungman, Alexis Bonte and Stephen Thorne – about their thoughts on the state of the industry, its direction, and how they see Europe and China competing and consolidating in the future…

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Two weeks ago, I was honoured to be able to present our research report ‘Europe Meets China’ to an audience of Chinese games industry luminaries in Shanghai. Today I’m equally honoured to be able to share it with the wider world; it’s a fascinating look at one of the biggest and fastest-growing sectors in the world, one which has an almost limitless market, and one which is of growing interest to investors worldwide.   The report, which you can download here and which is embedded below, looks at how the games industry is developing and how its particular qualities make synergies between Europe and China so fascinating, from both a development and investment point of view. Obviously I encourage you to download and read the report yourselves and form your own conclusions from the data we present, but I’d also like to share some thoughts of my own – and from Atomico’s wider gaming team – on what it means and what you should take away from it.   Europe Meets China – How The Games Industry Is Evolving from Atomico

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At Atomico, we’ve long-believed in the great potential for business success in Europe. Since we launched in 2006, Atomico has been banging the drum for the strength of the European ecosystem. Throughout, Estonia has played a key part in the Atomico story, with Niklas having established Skype there back in 2003 and continuing to the present day with our recent investment in Pipedrive. We see the present moment as an inflection point for the tech ecosystem there: funding amounts are heading in the right direction, Tallinn has a greater density of startups per capita than many of the more traditionally revered European hubs, Estonia has a higher density of developers than any other EU country, and of course, with a small domestic market, Estonian startups are all born with an international outlook hardwired into their DNA.

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23.05.2017

Fifteen years ago a technology company shipped PCs, operating systems, or word-processing software. Today, technology companies are at the core of most of the world’s major industries. Look at Facebook, Uber or Airbnb, who all leveraged technology to drive fundamental change in the way things are done. Machine learning is at the start of the same journey. Today it is still an emerging technology, used by a small number of cutting-edge companies to improve their products with more accurate insights or better user experiences.

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We recently took a few minutes to ask Iñigo Juantegui, CEO and co-founder of our latest investment OnTruck, a few questions about his founder journey, and what he sees as the most important qualities in entrepreneurship…

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12.05.2017

Another edition of our almost-fortnightly series of Need-to-Know briefings, this week bringing you the inside track on the new data economy, the role of government in machine learning, Chinese challengers and some new emerging trends in Europe’s investor landscape…

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It is no secret that the global transportation sector is being re-defined by technology and that this is leading to fundamental changes in how people live.   The ride-sharing model is the clearest example of this from a consumer perspective, allowing people to give up individual car ownership, generating personal savings and yet still feel like they are more mobile. This transformation continues with the mainstream adoption of fully electric challenger car brands like Tesla, and next generation companies like Lilium with electric vertical takeoff and landing jets for mass commuter transport!

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As humans we progress incrementally – through constant advances in technology, science, commerce and many other endeavours. We build bit-by-bit on what has gone before, gradually improving our world.   But there are also genuine breakthrough moments, seismic shifts that change the way we think and define what the future will look like.   To be privy to these moments, and even involved in making them happen, is a true honour.   As a founder they are what you strive for and the memory that most endures.

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Farmdrop, the online grocery platform that connects farmers and producers directly with local customers, makes us all feel good about what we do. Investing in ambitious founders who are using technology to disrupt large sectors is our job. But when those companies are also profoundly transforming a facet of people’s lives, making them better, healthier and more sustainable, we are thrilled.

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The latest in our regular series of useful snippets of information from the founder / VC space which you may have missed, this week taking in insights on European investment figures, Facebook’s F8 event and the future of AR, and the wisdom of Jeff Bezos…

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13.04.2017

Last week, Google DeepMind announced that they had open sourced Sonnet, a software library that draws on DeepMind’s internal best practices for quickly building neural network modules in TensorFlow. This is a great resource, leveraging the collective experiences of some of their 250 highly skilled engineers, released to enable others to more effectively apply machine learning to their problems. In fact, over the last few years, the world’s biggest tech companies (including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Baidu, Amazon and more) and university research labs have open sourced at least 2.5 million lines of machine learning platform code (see table below), which equates to over 650 man years or $80m in development costs. These toolkits are now freely available online, and many such as TensorFlow and Paddle are accompanied by significant volumes of training and example materials. As such, they can be viewed as an incredible initial investment into any company looking to use machine learning as an enabling technology for their product.

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It’s long been our conviction that entrepreneurs will solve humanity’s greatest and deepest challenges. With the global population expected to reach 9.7bn by 2050, and the rate of urbanisation increasing, we face few greater challenges than rising pollution and congestion in our cities. As our streets become ever more crowded, we need to rethink and reconfigure the way we live and move around – especially over short distances. In China alone, the population makes around 1.8bn daily trips, but around 45% of those trips are shorter than 5km. Furthermore, fixed stations and stops often don’t serve travellers for “the last mile” of their journey. Cycling is the answer – it’s faster than walking, and provides better accessibility, for a lower cost – with the benefit of no carbon emissions.

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The latest in our regular series of useful snippets of information from the founder / VC space which you may have missed, this week taking in insights on Family Offices, Chinese investment in Europe and the gender imbalance in tech…

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Our latest roundup of the most interesting and insightful facts from the founder and VC ecosystem over the past fortnight, intended to highlight some things we thought important which you might have missed…

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This post originally appeared on Medium. If you ask a passerby about France, you are likely to get bombarded with clichés — you’ll get the wine, the cheese and the baguette thrown back at you within 30 seconds. If you’re lucky, you may get something on Camus or Baudelaire (but then you have really lucked out, so do pinch yourself). French tech is probably the last thing that would come up in the conversation. This, though, has been quietly, and rapidly, changing — the tech scene in France is gaining massive traction.

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This post originally appeared on Medium,  If you look at the six most valuable public companies in the world today, you will notice something striking. Five of them are the tech companies Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, founded on the West Coast of the US between 1975 and 2004, three of whom who have achieved this ‘most valuable’ status in the last five years.

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This is Atomico’s “Need-to-Know”, the first in our new series of ‘things we (@atomico) found interesting and important in tech and VC land over the past fortnight, but that didn’t necessarily get the attention they deserved’. We think of them as our hidden little gems. We’ll be posting them here and on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as including a roundup in our forthcoming newsletter, so there’s really no excuse for not keeping up-to-date…

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This post first appeared on Medium, and was written to coincide with the Nordic AI festival, taking place on 7 March 2017 in Copenhagen. Bill Gates a couple of weeks ago said something pretty extraordinary: he suggested that a so-called “robot tax” might not be a bad idea. The socialist candidate for the upcoming French election, Benoît Hamon, has made this idea part of his platform. Nobody was talking like this just two short years ago. How has this now become such a prominent topic and entered the mainstream?

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Today we are proud to announce our new fund. At $765m Atomico IV is one of the largest venture capital funds ever raised in Europe and will enable us to do more of what we love: work with the most ambitious founders who combine disruptive technology with the vision to build global category winners.

We’ll continue to invest in companies, from Series A onwards, that have achieved product market fit and are ready to scale. You can read our manifesto that guides every decision we make here.

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Pipedrive is something of a special investment for Atomico. During their time at Skype, many of our team experienced first-hand the outstanding talent and entrepreneurial spirit that’s fostered in Estonia, including Niklas Zennström, co-founder of both Skype and Atomico. Skype was built in Estonia, and Estonian talent was absolutely fundamental to the development and success of the business. We’re now delighted to be making Atomico’s first investment in an Estonian company – something of a homecoming for us.

The majority of small businesses still use spreadsheets and complicated manual tools to manage their sales processes. While there are numerous established CRM solutions for the enterprise market, the CRM market tailored specifically for SMEs is untapped, and huge (estimated at over $10bn).

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