Fireside Chat with Atomico with Sophia Bendz, Siraj Khaliq, Hiro Tamura and Niall Wass (Atomico)

Fireside Chat with Atomico with Sophia Bendz, Siraj Khaliq, Hiro Tamura and Niall Wass (Atomico)

European Tech Funding and Trends

  • European tech startups received $33 billion in investments in 2022, with 20 new unicorns valued over $1 billion.
  • Despite progress, diversity remains a challenge, with only 8% of VC funding going to female founders.
  • There's a rise in women starting their own VC firms, leading to a new generation of female entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Pension funds are increasingly investing in venture capital, with a threefold increase from the previous year.
  • European VCs raised $13 billion in funding, but a significant portion of funding for European startups comes from outside the region.
  • The ongoing trade war between the US and China has made Europe a neutral ground for certain sensitive tech companies, attracting customers and investors from both regions.
  • Tech's impact on various industries has led to increased investment from the Middle East, but concerns about human rights records in some of these regions raise ethical considerations for European startups and VCs.

Atomico's Investment Approach

  • Atomico is selective with its limited partners (LPs), which include pension funds, family offices, and a mix of other sources, primarily European.
  • Atomico is currently investing a $765 million fund and may surpass $1 billion in its next fundraise.
  • Atomico focuses on early-stage European companies and is less concerned with valuation discrepancies between private and public markets at that stage.
  • As companies grow and approach liquidity events, Atomico collaborates with founders to thoughtfully consider valuations and ensure their success.
  • Atomico's investment strategy prioritizes game-changing companies that are making a positive impact on the world and solving global crises.
  • Frontier Tech, including AI, biology, and quantum computing, is an area of interest for Atomico as it presents opportunities to address humanity's biggest challenges.

European Startup Ecosystem

  • Founders in Europe are increasingly building global businesses in Europe rather than moving to the US.
  • The talent, market size, and access to capital in Europe make it an attractive location for startups.
  • Atomico differentiates itself by having an investment team with 70% operational tech experience, providing founders with expertise and guidance.
  • The trend of companies staying private longer is seen as positive, allowing for longer execution cycles and protection from public market pressures.
  • Secondary exchanges have emerged to facilitate liquidity for employees and founders of private companies.
  • Direct listings are becoming more popular as an alternative to traditional IPOs, providing companies with different types of access to capital.

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