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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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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When we published our games investment thesis recently we identified a huge trend in mobile games will be around PC and console game genres that historically haven’t made the successful transition to mobile. We believe there is an opportunity there to create deeper, more engaging games on mobile, that keep players coming back for more.   With that opportunity for Europe to once again dominate on the global games stage, we are very proud to announce today our investment in Paris-based mobile games studio Oh BiBi. Oh BiBi is on a mission to create beautiful, fun and seductive mobile-first experiences of the world’s most successful PC and console game genres.   Put simply, we believe that Oh BiBi is the best games company in the industry to tackle this challenge of going after the big PC and console genres. Oh BiBi founders Stanislas Dewavrin and Martial Valery have enormous global ambition levels, are visionary European entrepreneurs and have 18 years experience in building blockbuster mobile games and 150 titles between them including Minion Rush (860m players) and Asphalt (650m players). Oh BiBi, whose mobile-first arcade racing title SUP has already attracted 30m downloads to date, are now taking on the […]

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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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Fat Lama co-founders Chaz Englander, Rosie Dallas & Owen Turner-Major   It is no secret that mass consumption and shopping have become a way of life. From fast fashion to the next iPhone, as consumers, we are seemingly conditioned to no longer wait for something to break or even wear down before getting excited about the next new thing.   As AirBnB co-founder Brian Chesky once famously summarised it in an interview with the New York Times, “There are 80 million power drills in America that are used an average of 13 minutes, does everyone really need their own drill?”   In our lifetimes, each of us will accumulate a large quantity of items that we completely under-utilize. At the same time, with urbanisation increasing, there is a large number of people in our surrounding communities who could find a clear use for these products if they could access them when we are not using them. This prevailing “take, make, use, throw” economic model, that has no doubt driven many a corporate bottom line for many years, is sadly taking its toll on our planet too, straining under the weight of our throwaway consumer culture.   When you take into […]

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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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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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  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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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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  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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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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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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