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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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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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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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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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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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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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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