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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  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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  We used to be told that what you learned in school would last you a lifetime. In today’s rapidly changing world, that no longer holds true. The rate of change across the average adult career has increased so much in the past decade that there is a growing need for lifelong learning solutions. There are millions of lifelong learners around the world. These people are hungry for new skills and to hone old ones. To explore a new passion. To keep growing.   When we first met founder David Rogier, we were blown away with both the ambition and precision of his vision for Masterclass. David had a bold idea – to make knowledge from the world’s masters accessible to all for lifelong learning – and over the past three years has been working with his team to turn that vision into a reality.   What if you could take acting classes with Helen Mirren? Or cooking classes with Gordon Ramsay? Or filmmaking classes with Martin Scorsese? MasterClass has turned what sounds like a farfetched vision that would only ever be accessible by a few into a reality for everyone, anywhere.   At Atomico, we embrace continuous learning because […]

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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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    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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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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Thanks to the internet and mobile revolution, consumers today expect an always-on approach to service from the brands and companies they love. Yet to date it has been nearly impossible for companies to achieve the reverse – an always-on way of engaging with their customer base, at global scale, to quickly and accurately understand their evolving needs and behaviours.   Data released by ITU, the UN agency for information and communication technologies, shows that 80% of young people now use the internet, and this number is only set to increase as more and more of the developing world comes online in the coming decade. More than half the world’s population is predicted to not only be online by 2020, but to be using a mobile device as their primary method of accessing the internet. That’s a lot of mobile devices enabling the real-time exchange of information between people. When you add all this together, it seems counter-intuitive that the closest industry we have to trying to understand how real people engage with the world around them is an incumbent $40B a year research market that is still dominated by large network agencies, static surveys and cold calling.   We all […]

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For the third year in succession, Atomico is proud to present our State of European Tech report – the single, most comprehensive data-driven story of European technology today, which we’re launching onstage at Slush in Helsinki. This year is the biggest and deepest look at the European ecosystem we’ve yet undertaken – which is why we have decided to create an accompanying website at www.stateofeuropeantech.com, where you can download a PDF copy of the report or explore the data at your leisure and download specific charts and graphs for your own use. As in previous years, we’ve been ambitious about the data partners we’ve partnered with: teaming up again with LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, Meetup, Dealroom.co, the London Stock Exchange, Quid, European Startup Initiative, Signal and Invest Europe, and adding new partners including the European Investment Fund, Craft.co, and TokenData. In particular, we’re proud to be supported by both Silicon Valley Bank and Orrick in delivering the research to you. We’ve also surveyed 3,500 people from across Europe, and interviewed some of the biggest names in European tech, such as Herman Narula, Ilkka Paananen, Robin Klein, Jimmy Wales, Reshma Sohoni and Jeannette zu Fürstenberg. So what have we found? You’ll have to read the […]

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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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  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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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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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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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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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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