Rumours of the death of European tech investment have been greatly, completely, and wonderfully exaggerated, it seems.
Yesterday, Atomico, the seed, early stage, late stage and private equity VC founded by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and Mattias Ljungman, formerly of CLS Holdings, announced the launch of Atomico IV.
It may sound the latest instalment of a Hollywood superhero franchise, but in reality – it’s even more exciting than that. Atomico IV, one of the largest VC funds ever to have been raised in Europe, will pump as much as $765m into ambitious, disruptive tech startups from the Series A stage onwards – provided they have “achieved product market fit and are ready to scale.”
In fact, Atomico have written an entire manifesto to help founders understand how Atomico chooses who to invest in, which can be found here.
The key thing to understand about the fund, Atomico say, is that “when we invest in a company, we give everything we have, not just capital.”
And that’s because “we’ve been there and done it”.
Indeed they have, from Atomico’s founder, Niklas Zennstrom, who founded a small conference calling app known as Skype (you may have heard of it), right through the 40 strong team which includes ex Facebook, Google, LastMinute and Spotify execs, there is passion coursing through the veins of every member of staff; “We use that experience to coach and push entrepreneurs, hard, in areas where they need help the most, like user growth, hiring and retaining the best talent, market-entry and partnerships, or marketing and communications”, they say.
Atomico also believe that “the European ecosystem and the pipeline of new talent has never been healthier”, a stance they can back up with cold, hard facts.
4.7m professional developers in Europe, 20% of European MBA grads choosing careers in tech, 150 cities across Europe hosting 50+ tech meetups every year, and, perhaps most crucially, $14bn invested across 2,800 rounds of investment.
Atomico’s monster fund follows their last fund launch, back in 2013, which raised $476.63m and saw the firm invest into the likes of Supercell, The Climate Corporation and GoEuro. In total, according to Crunchbase, Atomico has backed 89 startups to date, and that number is only going to shoot right up!
We just have one question, however, which doesn’t just apply to Atomico but to all European investment rounds. Why do we quote them in dollars?