5 Jul 2018

Expanding Europe’s most successful scaling team with Steve Crossan (Deepmind) and Jambu Palaniappan (UberEats)

We have been saying for some time that the European technology ecosystem is at an inflection point, but 2018 is the year Europe turned that corner.

When Atomico started, very few people believed that Europe could produce multiple billion-dollar companies. Since then, there have been over 60 and — already in April — European tech once again made the world sit up and take notice that we can produce global category-defining software companies, worth tens of billions of dollars and take them public.

But this is not the time to become complacent. Now, more than ever, we believe with deepest conviction and a sense of pressing urgency that Europe has the right ingredients for far greater tech success in the decade to come. The funding is available, there is a healthy new crop of ambitious founders and, with over 5.5m developers across the region, we also possess the key talent. However, scaling a world-leading business is difficult and ambitious entrepreneurs still need guidance, support and advice from experienced tech leaders and experts.

We are committed to Atomico’s role as a pivotal platform in the European tech ecosystem by providing the very best expertise and guidance to our founders from the very best operators in class.

That’s why today we are very proud to announce two new leading operators who are joining our Executive-in-Residence (XiR) programme to help our founders solve some of the toughest challenges they face in scaling.

Steve Crossan joins us from the world’s leading AI research company, DeepMind, in London. At Deepmind, Steve led the Product team responsible for putting DeepMind’s technology into Google — from data centre optimization to Google Assistant and protein folding — and reported directly into Deepmind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman. He joined DeepMind after several years at Google working on the Google Maps, Gmail, and Google Search product teams. Steve also has the kind of founder DNA we look for at Atomico. In 2011, during the Arab Spring, Steve launched speak2tweet to open access to social media when the internet was cut off in several countries. Before all this he left a PhD in AI unfinished to start a series of startups including Runtime Collective which later became brandwatch.com.

Jambu Palaniappan joins us from UberEats, where he led the company’s entire operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, leading teams in over 20 cities in the region. Prior to that Jambu was the Regional General Manager for the Middle East & Africa at Uber where he oversaw market strategy and operations, as well as working with expansion teams to manage new market entries.

Steve will be focused on helping our portfolio company founders with their Product and Go-To Market strategies, as well as supporting our sourcing efforts in the fields of AI and deep tech, while Jambu will be drawing on his extensive operational experience to help our founders on all aspects of scaling a business internationally.

Steve and Jambu will be joining a wider team of entrepreneurs and executives who have played key roles at some of the most iconic tech companies in the world. We want to help to grow the next generation of tech giants, by continuing to build Europe’s most successful scaling team who bring with them some of the most valuable, rare and sought after executive operational experience growing Google, Facebook, Uber, Skype, Spotify and Deepmind across multiple markets.

We believe that we are in an excellent position to make such an ambitious goal a reality.

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