29 Nov 2018

Introducing: the Atomico Angel Programme

We are proud to announce the Atomico Angel Programme, led by Atomico’s newest Partner Sophia Bendz with support from Associate Will Dufton, to help activate a new generation of angel investors who are well placed to discover the most innovative and ambitious founders at the start of their journey.

Building a company is hard. Few people understand how difficult a founder’s journey can be. Sophia joined Spotify when Daniel Ek was still working out of a tiny flat in Stockholm. Since leaving Spotify, Sophia has been an active angel in the Nordics for many years. She feels deeply passionate about the positive influence the right angels can have for the next generation of founders building exciting game changing companies, and regularly shares the lessons she learnt from her Spotify journey with her angel portfolio companies. The Atomico Angel Programme is about scaling that experience.

The gamechangers of tomorrow need Angels today who have been there and done it; Angels committed to reinvesting their experience and wisdom in the ecosystem.

Angels can be transformative for founders and we’ve selected this first cohort for their diverse perspectives, unique networks, and operational experience. Our Angels are:

  • Doreen Huber, Founder, LemonCat
  • Suvi Haimi, Co-Founder, Sulapac
  • Stefano Bernardi, Co-Founder, Token Economy
  • Rohan Silva, Co-Founder, Second Home
  • Clare Johnston, Founder, The Up Group
  • Emily Brooke, Founder, Beryl
  • Gregory Gazagne, Executive Vice President, Criteo
  • Roxanne Varza, Director, Station F
  • Josefin Landgård, Co-Founder, Kry
  • Tuva Palm, Founder, Executive Tech Advisor
  • Ritu Jain, Co-Founder, LifeX
  • Johan Brand, Founding Partner, We Are Human

Strengthening ties between the grassroots tech community and established institutions across the ecosystem is a powerful way to empower new founders and spark progress. In that sense, capital is secondary: in the long run, relationships matter more than transactions.

Our Angels will be investing as part of the programme for twelve months, after which time they will become Atomico Angel Alumni and a new cohort of Angels will invest for the following twelve months.

We will be challenging ourselves to activate new clusters of European talent via this Angel network including, in time, tech clusters that have been underrepresented in the past. Only by relentlessly reaching new networks can we ensure maximum spread of opportunity for the next generation of founders.

By moving capital out to influencers in new and interesting pockets of the ecosystem our intention is to support the next generation of European tech investors, build stronger ties between Atomico and the early stage landscape, and afford a more diverse range of talented gamechangers the chance to change the world for the better.

How the Atomico Angel Programme works:

  • Atomico’s Angels are selected on a 12 month rolling programme basis.
  • Angels USD $100,000 to write multiple early-stage cheques.
  • Angels each have autonomy to partner with any founders they choose ( so long as it does not not violate Atomico’s overall ethical investment principles and commitments made to our LPs — i.e nothing unethical including drugs, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, porn, type startups etc.)
  • Angels get a share of the upside when the founders they back succeed, in the same way that Atomico would.
  • If one company takes off, all the angels benefit: in order to promote collaboration, we have allocated some carry per investment to an ‘Angel Pool’, from which all the angels share. In this way, one company’s success benefits all the Atomico Angels as a group, not just the Angel that partnered with that company.
  • We encourage angels to partner with founders at the earliest stage, and thus maximise their exposure to the future.
  • This also means that Angel Programme investments will be at least one stage removed from Atomico’s remit, in some cases two stages removed. Atomico’s angels are partnering with founders who would otherwise have been at least one or two stages removed from the stage we invest at. By investing at a stage we don’t touch, the Angels’ independence is assured
  • The Atomico Angel investment sparks a relationship with these early founders, but it in no way guarantees, or even indicates, that they will receive further investment from Atomico. Atomico invests at Series A and these investments will be angel investments, often first money in at pre-seed stage.

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