26 Jan 2021

Home Grown Talent: Our Newest Partner Ben Blume and Two New Principals

Ben’s the guy I call at 8 or 9pm at night when there’s something I really need to talk through. He’s been with us for 107x growth in valuation, he’s seen it all
Dan Perez, Hinge Health co-founder & CEO

The most successful investor-founder partnerships are those built over the long term, forged in the first meeting and hardened though good days and bad on the journey to achieving global success. Becoming a skilled investor and valuable advisor takes many years and many such journeys.

That is why we are pleased to announce the promotions of three Atomicans who have demonstrated their dedication, time and time again, to supporting some of the world’s most ambitious founders, developing themselves into true partners to these gamechangers over many years. These three exceptional individuals all joined us as Associates and have built their careers within Atomico, distinguishing themselves by their commitment to helping us succeed as a team.

First, we are delighted to announce Ben Blume’s promotion to Partner. Ben, who joined Atomico eight years ago, truly embodies our firm’s principles in his humble approach to identifying and partnering with some of Europe’s most forward-thinking Enterprise founders. A real team player, Ben is always available to offer his thoughtful opinion to founders or his colleagues.

At Atomico we are passionate about developing the next generation of European investing talent. Having worked closely with Ben for the past eight years, it has been a joy to watch him develop into the thoughtful, skilled investor that he is today. The companies that he has supported in the areas of AI and enterprise such as Spacemaker, Graphcore, Onna, Automation Hero and Hinge Health will be important actors in shaping the post-pandemic economic recovery as companies around the world navigate new working styles and ever-evolving ways to support their employees. Ben goes above and beyond for the founders he works with as an invaluable sounding board and advisor, and is equally generous with the time, assistance and mentorship that he offers the Atomico team. Atomico would not be the firm it is today without his contributions over the past eight years
Atomico CEO and Founding Partner Niklas Zennström

Ben’s promotion is a reflection of his dedication to finding the next generation of sector defining enterprise and SaaS founders, and his hard work and quiet persistence in helping them achieve their visions. Whether it was managing our early investment into UK chip disrupter Graphcore, flying to Tokyo to meet with founders who would produce Japan’s third ever unicorn SmartNews, or sourcing our original Series A investment into our most recent unicorn Hinge Health where he currently serves as a board member, Ben is all in and always available.

Ben led Atomico’s Series A investment in Spacemaker, innovators in bringing AI and generative design to the construction industry, and served on the board until a successful acquisition by Autodesk late last year. He also led Atomico’s investments into Onna and Automation Hero, where he currently sits on the board.

As an investor into Spacemaker, we have had the pleasure of working very closely together with Ben Blume. Through highs, lows and flats, our partnership has been nothing but constructive, analytically robust and — importantly — fun. Our journey to exit was fast, but it established a friendship for the future.
Anders Kvåle, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Spacemaker (now Autodesk)

As we recognise the next generation of European investment talent, we also want to congratulate Hillary Ball and Luca Eisenstecken on their promotions to Principal.

Hillary and Luca have been instrumental members of the teams making some of our most exciting investments over the past few years and work closely with our portfolio companies. For Luca, those investments include Infarm, MessageBird and Scoutbee, and for Hillary those investments include Masterclass and Framer, among others.

Hillary and Luca have proven themselves to be relentlessly driven, invaluable team players with incredible work ethic, and together will focus on our venture growth investing at Atomico. At the earlier stages, Hillary covers UK consumer opportunities, and Luca covers the German market. It is our policy at Atomico to support Principals in eventually leading their own investments, and we look forward to seeing Hillary and Luca come into their own in the coming years with the guidance of the Partnership.

Ben, Hillary, and Luca represent a powerhouse of homegrown talent. Together, they have played integral roles in five unicorn investments to date, with a combined valuation of more than $10 billion and have forged deep, meaningful ties with the founders they back. We are delighted to acknowledge their contributions with these promotions.

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