Venture capital firm Atomico has closed the largest independent European venture fund at $765 million, signalling confidence in the European technology startups.
Atomico, founded by Skype-founder Niklas Zennström, has been one of the frontrunners in the European VC market since its launch in 2006. The new fund, Atomico IV, will focus on boosting startups from Series A onwards.
“We’ve raised one of the biggest funds, and built the best operational team, in Europe to partner with the most ambitious entrepreneurs to help them become global category winners,” Zennström said in a statement.
We talked with Atomico’s new partner Teddie Wardi on the implications of the new fund.
“We feel it is the right size for the opportunity in the European industry,” Wardi told ArcticStartup in an interview.
On top of Skype Europe has been the birthplace for $10+ billion companies like Supercell and Zalando. “There is no reason why there would not be more,” Wardi said. “We want to see $100 billion companies coming out of Europe.”
European startups raised $14 billion last year in more than 2,400 investment rounds, but many of them face a relative funding gap when they are ready to scale. This is the problem Atomico hopes to tackle with the new fund. For example, many European A rounds are just a couple million euros, something US investors would see as a seed round.
“We want to find the best companies as early as possible. We want to go in early, more into 5-10 million euros Series A rounds so that they can compete on a global battlefield against US companies,” Wardi said.
And the key question for startups is of course – where does Atomico see the best chance for those European success stories to arise?
“The most interesting stuff is definitely about deep technology – AI, AR, VR, computer learning, even robotics,” Wardi said.