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Atomico And Beyond

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Wouter Gort was principal at Atomico from 2011 to June 2014. In 2004, he founded BST Company, an investment company in the Netherlands that helped develop startups. As an angel investor, he backed companies including o.a. Yelloyello (sold to Truvo), Soocial (sold to Viadeo), 1dayfly, and Zecco.

The start of Atomico was in 2006 by the founder Niklas Zennström who is a Swedish billionaire entrepreneur best known for founding several high-profile online ventures with Janus Friis including Skype and Kazaa. More recently he founded the technology investment firm Atomico and has become a significant figurehead for entrepreneurs in the tech sector. [2]

You might not know that Kazaa was at the top of the internet business companies sometime before Skype even was launched. Kazaa actually represented more than %50 of the internet traffic which was unbelievable and it might never happen again.  And as Niklas was building Kazaa, he was simultaneously starting a new company and this company was built on infrastructure of Kazaa, it’s called Skype. The company scaled and grew quite fast and so he sold it to eBay and that earned him money that he invested in building up Atomico.

In the beginning it was just like a super Angel investing in various types of companies together with other investors or other Angels, right now they have a more developed professional infrastructure that was enhanced over the years. Currently they have two people in Brazil, one person in China, another in Japan and Wouter Grot the one responsible for continent of Europe and based in Turkey whereas the Headquarter is in London.

Some of the well-known investments Atomico did was in Last.fm, Rovio mobile and Angry bird the game that hot the billion downloads. Right at the moment they are looking to invest in local companies and support portfolio companies they invested in to hit the ground running into the local market. [3]

On the account of having Skype as a background, Atomico has some characteristics they look for in companies they intend to invest into; they look openly into the different businesses equally but they prefer the companies that touch the consumers according to what way they do. However, this characteristic is now a gray line for it became hard to differentiate between B2B and B2C, knowing that B2C and B2B are two forms of commercial transactions. B2C, which stands for business-to-consumer, is a process for selling products directly to consumers. B2B, which stands for business-to-business, is a process for selling products or services to other businesses. [4]

Many tools that were started as consumers’ tools are now crossing over to business like Drop Box, and many others are turning from business’ tools to consumers’ tools. The other thing that attracts Atomico is scalability, the company targeted has to scalable and it must be one billion dollar market in addition to the comfort if the company’s ambition is on the global level.

Due to previous experience with Skype, Atomic is a great supporter to companies willing to hold investments. A matter of fact, Skype is by far the most successful non-Chinese company that is successful in China; since you don’t hear about Facebook and Google in China. Atomico kept a good relationship with some local brands in Japan like DNA the big Japanese gaming company for instance so they can engage with them and eventually work with them on near opportunities.

06 October 2019

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