The Atomico Angel Programme’s Fourth Year
Atomico’s Angel Programme empowers the next generation of European angel investors to partner with the most ambitious early-stage founders. The investments made by Atomico’s angels showcase the diversity of founder talent in Europe, and the growing tech ecosystem. For Atomico, the programme is an important connection to the community at pre-seed and seed stage.
We’re proud to celebrate the 2021 participants and their achievements, as well as announcing the first 8 angels for our 2022 programme. Marking a change from previous years, as well as the new names announced today, we’ll be adding more exceptional individuals to the programme throughout the rest of the year. We’ve also invited some of our star angels from previous cohorts to come back for two more years. This helps us be more agile, allows us to continue collaborating with our most active angels for future years, and work with budding angels as and when they’re available.
How Year Three went
Year three was the most active year yet for Atomico's Angel Programme. 81 investments were made by the new cohort, with an unprecedented level of collaboration. Atomico focuses on building a community of angels, and on fostering strong relationships between the angels and Atomico’s Investment Team, through Slack, in person and virtual events. The alumni element of the programme was particularly successful, adding a further 46 investments and bringing the year’s total investments to 127.
Our 2021 cohort was our most active yet:
- 81 investments by the new angels in cohort 3, and 127 total investments by our entire 2021 angel team, including returning angels from the first and second cohort
- We’re seeing more geographic diversity, with investments across 14 European countries
- Investing in more diverse founders is a core principle of the Angel Programme
- 50% of investments were in teams with at least one female founder or co-founder
- 34% of investments were in teams with at least one person of colour as a founder
- 64% of investments were made in teams with at least one underrepresented founder
- Atomico aims to foster collaboration between the angels, with 19 investments involving the participation of two or more programme participants
Introducing the Fourth Year
We’re welcoming 8 new angels to the programme, as well as inviting 11 of the most active angels from our 2021 cohort to continue investing with Atomico under an expanded brief. As always, the group is a mixture of founders, operators, community organisers and sector experts, carefully curated to provide founders with genuine subject matter expertise as they start-out on their entrepreneurial journey. We selected them for their diverse perspectives, unique networks, and experience building and advising companies.
Atomico investor Terese Hougaard continues to lead Atomico’s Angel Programme with support from Maxine Smith. They have a vital role in identifying the most exciting candidates to bring into the programme, and mentoring them as they take the leap into their first investments.
The first eight angels of the 2022 Atomico Angel Programme are:
We’ve invited back eleven angels from the previous cohort to invest for another two years, with a larger amount to invest. After adopting this model in previous years, we’ve found that returners to the programme are an invaluable resource for newer recruits, and strengthen the Atomico Angel Programme alumni network for future generations of founders.
Congratulations to all of 2021’s participants for their achievements and to the newest members of the programme. 2022 is set to be bigger than ever!
Cohort 3 Investments
How the Atomico Angel Programme works
Atomico’s Angels are selected on a 12 month rolling programme basis, with some angels invited to continue with the programme beyond their first year.
Atomico allocates $100,000 to each new angel, with selected angels from previous cohorts receiving a larger amount for their continued participation in the programme.
Atomico focuses on building a community of angels, and on fostering strong relationships between the angels and Atomico’s Investment Team, through Slack, in person and virtual events
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 we do not allow investment in drugs, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography 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 the pre-seed stage.