Hillary Ball is a Principal at Atomico. Based in London, Hillary focuses on Atomico’s growth stage investing, with a particular interest in consumer internet, Web3, SaaS and marketplaces. She sits on the boards of Gympass and Framer, and worked on Atomico's partnerships with Sorare, MasterClass, Koru Kids, and Quit Genius.
I love working with founders who have a perspective that enables them to see opportunities that others might underestimate. Particularly in the consumer sector, people can underestimate how the power of a transformational experience can expand what might look like a small market today - I believe this is where some of the biggest opportunities are in consumer tech.
‘Vision’ is an overused word - but it’s still vital.
While the exact plans will no doubt change on the journey to get there, I’m drawn to founders who have a clear vision and articulation of where they are going long-term. I think in choosing a VC partner, finding someone who understands and is aligned with your vision is one of the most critical things.
The value of community.
I love consumer businesses that are building, enriching, or broadening access to the feeling of community for people - and how this can in turn propel the flywheel of loyalty, virality and retention for those businesses.
Consumer businesses excite me in their ability to transform how we spend our time.
Whether it’s allowing us to do something we love in a new or better way, or spend less time doing the tedious things - I get excited by the ability of consumer tech businesses to transform and optimise the finite resource we all have of time.
Helping other people reach their full potential is one of my favourite parts about this job.
Building a company is incredibly tough, and I love taking this behind the scenes role to support the founders and teams that we work with.
I grew up in Canada and moved to the UK for university...and then never left
After studying in the UK, I moved to London for my first job in the investment banking team at Goldman Sachs. Despite being in the UK for a decade, my Canadian accent is still going strong - as some of my colleagues love to point out, I can often be overheard telling people ‘aboot’ a really interesting company that I just met with.
At Goldman, I had the chance to learn what best-in-class companies looked like when they were going through IPO or M&A processes.
Before joining Atomico, I spent over 3 years at Goldman Sachs where I worked on advising clients on IPOs, M&A and financing processes. I learned what companies look like when they reach this stage - in terms of their financials, markets, and management teams. I love my job today where I can use this knowledge to help the next generation of companies reach that stage.
You can find me in the audience at a stand-up comedy show (or watching the newest Netflix comedy special).
I grew up obsessed with watching Saturday Night Live every weekend, and lots of improv and stand-up comedy. One of my favourite things to do in London is go see a comedy show, and I love discovering a new favourite comedian.