Atomico raises $165 million fund for disruptive early stage technology in Europe

Congratulations to the team at Atomico who announced that it has completed fundraising for its second fund, Atomico Ventures II.

The $165 million fund will focus primarily on Europe, and will seek to invest in early stage, high growth technology companies, with the goal to provide outsized returns to investors over the long-term. The fund will achieve this by investing in outstanding management teams, who address large market opportunities that leverage innovative business models and transformational technologies.

The partners of Atomico are the largest investors in this fund and have been joined by several top-tier institutions, truly aligning interests for all parties.

Niklas Zennström, Founder and CEO of Atomico, commented: “We are delighted to announce that we have completed the fundraising for Atomico Ventures II, which will be focused primarily on early-stage tech companies in Europe. We will seek to invest in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building exceptional businesses. We will target companies that we believe have the potential to generate significant growth, transform their industries, and deliver strong returns.” Company website.

While this is great news – this is one of the few funds to close in 2010, (Sofinnova and Aster both closed funds in January February) – it also demonstrates the challenging fund raising environment at present. The fund was initially targeting around $260 million.

Speaking to the FT, Niklas Zennström said,

“The firm will focus on early-stage software and internet companies that have the potential to be “transformative”, said Mr Zennström. That model will be welcomed by British entrepreneurs, who have complained that in the downturn, investors have become more risk averse, making safer bets in later-stage companies.

“The type of companies we are looking at are consumer-facing and also small business . . .  that do not need to build up sales forces around the world to scale and grow,” Mr Zennström told the Financial Times. “These are the kinds of companies like Skype, Google and Facebook who, if the business model is really working, they can get large revenues without having to go through too many financing rounds.”

Good news for ambitious and accomplished European web entrepreneurs.