In part two of our series on games investing at Atomico, I am joined by my fellow Games Team members and co-authors Stephen Thorne and Alexis Bonte as we lift the lid on our evaluation framework for any companies considering raising venture capital, we share the inside track on how Atomico works with our games company founders, and, finally, we share our view on what’s next for games in Europe in 2018 and beyond.   According to legend, the Chinese Emperor Yao 堯 (2356–2255 BC) designed Go for his wayward playboy son, Danzhu 丹朱, to instil in him discipline, concentration, and balance. Four thousand years later, games still have the power to inspire profound changes to the way we communicate, keep in touch with friends, even start businesses or learn the basic skills of life, and yes, entertain ourselves too. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Part Two: Hunting the next Supercell. Our evaluation framework There’s no silver bullet or magic formula for spotting the next great games company (or sure-fire hit game), and data alone will only get you so far… So at Atomico we have developed a framework for evaluating games by zeroing-in on the characteristics we believe the best-in-class […]

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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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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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23.10.2017

After a short hiatus, Atomico’s regular roundup of interesting, under-the-radar news from the world of tech, founders and VCs returns, courtesy of Tom and Stephen; this edition features the possibility of a bear market, London as Europe’s top dog for founders, and the continuing growth in European VC…

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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 Remo Gerber of Lilium…

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As a European founder and investor, I am hugely proud of what Atomico Partner Tom Wehmeier has created with the annual State of European Tech report; not just because the report has become such a valuable piece of tech research in Europe and beyond but also because of the pride it has instilled in the European tech ecosystem. It has helped to remind us of the great strides we have already made and the opportunities that lie ahead. Last year the report highlighted that deep tech was thriving in Europe and that new tech hubs are emerging; I look forward to seeing what this year’s report will unveil. When we launched the report with our partners at Slush three years ago, we had a simple but huge ambition: to build the most comprehensive, data-driven overview of Europe’s tech landscape, charting the breakthroughs, opportunities and disruptive forces that define its future. We achieved this with last year’s report. It provided one of the most in-depth profiles of European tech, exploring the agents of change that impact us the most, from talent to capital, the rise of deep tech and the strength of tech communities. What makes me most proud is how it has been […]

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08.09.2017

Here’s the latest of our insights digest, lovingly prepared by Tom & Stephen – this week, they cast their analytical eyes over the future of IPOs, health data in AI, and the state of the app market in the US, amongst other things. Enjoy!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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