The London-based VC firm founded by Skype’s co-founder aims to bridge the investment gap for scaleups
From London’s Silicon Roundabout to the streets of Berlin, Europe’s startup scene is absolutely brimming with entrepreneurial talent ready to disrupt the business world. But while Atomico, the London-based VC launched by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, has estimated that new enterprises on the continent raised $14bn last year, they still struggle to raise money when it’s time to scale. In fact, while there were over 2,800 funding rounds in Europe last year, most of these comprised either seed or series A investment, meaning there is a paucity of later-stage funding available to European startups. Aiming to tackle this problem, Atomico has just announced that it has closed a new $765bn investment fund.
Having already backed companies like the Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna, the Finnish Angry Birds developer Rovio and the travel site GoEuro, Atomico will use the new capital to invest in startups that have achieved a product and are ready to grow to take centre stage on a global scale. And there’s good reason to be excited about this. Not only is it larger than the company’s previous fund – which totalled $476.6bn – it is also one of the largest funds ever raised in Europe.
But startups securing backing from the find don’t just stand to pocket some new capital: they will also gain access to insight from some of the industry’s premier entrepreneurs. Selected startups will also benefit from support from Atomico’s partners, who are all former executives from fast-growing companies like Uber, Facebook, Spotify, 3bears and Virgin. This value-creation team will help answer questions surrounding international market-entry and partnerships, user growth, product, hiring and talent retention, marketing and communications.
Commenting on the new fund, Mattias Ljungman, partner and co-founder at Atomico, said: “We invest everything we have, not just capital, in the best European founders. We’ve raised one of the biggest funds in Europe to unlock the potential of our best and most ambitious entrepreneurs – from series A onwards. Now we have the capital to back more founders and we’ve built out the best value creation team in Europe to help them win.”
With both financial and expert support like this, it certainly seems as if European startups’ chances to become scaleups have improved considerably.