Why has Atomico raised over 800 million to back European startups?

Q: Why has Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom’s venture capital firm raised over 800 million to back European startups?

It sounds like about the right amount.

Some simple math: I think Atomico’s sweet spot is Series B rounds (though they do all types):

  • A typical Series B today is $20m-$40m. Sometimes, a lot more. Let’s add in some Series As and say their average check size is $20m.
  • You want to do at least 15–20 of these to have enough diversity in your portfolio.
  • You need to “save” some of the fund in reserves, i.e. for later rounds. Usually about 50% in a bigger fund is reserved for later rounds after first checks.
  • $20m x 20 initial investments = $400m
  • another 50% for follow on investments (another $400m) = $800m.

It might not even be that much. Just 20 investments have taken it all up.

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Published on February 22, 2020

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