Adam is a Principal at Atomico, based in Paris, where he leads our geo coverage for France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. He is responsible for sourcing, due diligence and managing our partnerships with our companies in these territories.
I love partnering with founders who possess a deep profound motivation (some might call it an obsession) for their sector and are driven by a passion for change and making a difference in their field. I’m excited to partner with avid learners who understand that learning never stops and have enough self-awareness to attract and hire a diverse, balanced team.
I grew up in Paris, and as a teenager I had trouble sitting still for hours in school classrooms. I had to go outside and experience life for myself!
I can’t pretend I was a child entrepreneur - I didn’t write my first code at the age of 9, sad to say - but I have always been attracted to fast-moving experiences where people made things happen.
I started my career as a junior banker… but life behind a desk didn’t fit me so well.
I started my career in London doing investment banking at Barclays, where I worked within the Technology, Media and Telecommunications team, advising clients on M&A and financing processes… but sticking behind my desk for hours didn’t feel like an optimal fit.
So I did what all founders do - I took a leap of faith.
I decided to take a risk and leave the secure world of banking behind to join my friends who’d just started an on-demand delivery marketplace. We raised +$10m and I became Head of Growth, leading the expansion of the business across 7 of the largest cities across the UK and Spain - which gave me the chance to use the energy I’ve always had to build things and effect change.
It was here that I discovered my passion for investment and growing businesses.
On demand delivery marketplaces tend to be capital intensive, and as we were constantly raising money and having conversations with VCs, I realised I would love to apply my previous experience into an investing role.
When evaluating a company, it’s vital to look at its likely ‘time to market relevance’, its unit economics and how they trend.
As the market for our business grew, it became more and more competitive and more capital intensive - which meant growth had to be achieved at the cost of unit economics. This taught me the importance of focusing on these elements, even from the outset.
There are no shortcuts to build a market-leading team.
There is no bigger challenge when it comes to building to scale than recruiting the team that will help you achieve your goals. My experience, whether from recruiting my own team of 20+ full-time staff across multiple geographies, or working with our portfolio companies to help them hire the best talent, shows that recruitment requires dedication and processes - this is non-negotiable.
Knowledge really is power.
I firmly believe that information is the key to success - for founders, knowledge of your potential market, customers and likely demand curve; for investors, knowledge of the market and founders you’re considering; and in life, where to succeed within a system you first need to understand its rules and parameters.
Language is one of the greatest keys to unlock more knowledge.
I’m fluent in English, Spanish and French - I’m happy to take meetings in any of these three - and also speak conversational Italian (though that’s probably more suited to a good lunch than a business meeting). I’m always trying to learn more, so Portuguese and Arabic are on the roadmap!
I have benefited from an international education.
I have an MSc in Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a joint Bachelors in Business Administration from both Universite Paris-Dauphine and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.
If I could recommend a book to help you understand me and my passions.
It would be “Leon the African'' by Amine Maalouf, a novel for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of travel, history, and cultural diversity.