Joen is a Partner at Atomico where he supports the firm’s portfolio in later stage financing rounds, M&A and liquidity events, leading the firm’s engagement with growth investors, global corporates and institutional investors. He served on the board of Truecaller until September 2021.
I want our founders to have access to the best type of follow-on capital and strategic advice at all times along their entrepreneurial journey. Atomico strives to be the investor of choice for the world’s top-tier downstream investors who share our excitement to support the most ambitious founders on their journey building category leading companies.
Working at Atomico means working with some of the most ingenious and creative minds in the world right now
It is a privilege to have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurs and operators, and play a small part in their journey.
Seeing a whole industry being turned on its head shaped my career
I started working at Bertelsmann in 2002, at a time when media was being massively disrupted by the Internet. Being on the incumbent side of disruption was tough, but eye opening. We saw what Napster did to the music business, and how the music business tried to respond, and that showed me which side of the fence I wanted to be on!
China taught me all about what a truly fast-paced society based around disruptive digital models looks like
Moving to Shanghai in 2004, in the pre-WeChat era, I saw first-hand their rapid transition from an analogue economy to a mobile-first economy, skipping the desktop era almost entirely. Again, it showed me the incredible pace of change that can be driven by new technologies and smart and visionary founders.
Founders need to be selective
You want investors behind you who align with your vision as a founder. Never underestimate the importance of ensuring intellectual and emotional synergies with your backers - if you’re going to have these people on your Board, you need to make sure you see eye-to-eye on certain philosophical aspects of how you want your business to develop. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice of investors, be sure to be selective - in a market with ready access to capital, accessing the right capital is more important than ever.
I know everyone always says this - but it really IS a great time to be an entrepreneur
Access to capital has never been greater. There’s a large appetite for risk, and the desire to invest in market-defining companies is rising at all times. Couple that with Europe’s consolidation as a centre for technology, innovation and talent makes this something of a perfect storm.
Artists, musicians and authors have always inspired me, and the communities within which I have learned
Outside of the workplace I get invigorated and take inspiration from art and artists - their creativity, and their courage to explore forms of expression and challenge the status quo. Entrepreneurialism is at its core a creative endeavor, and these communities overlap in interesting ways.
I am most proud of my twin daughters
But all the credit for them ultimately goes to my beloved wife.