Growth

Laura Connell

Laura is a Partner at Atomico, based in London, where she leads on new investment opportunities at the growth stage across enterprise, consumer and fintech. 

I’ve worked with founders across both the private and public markets globally. 

I’ve partnered with teams from the earliest pre-seed stage to the public markets from Europe and the US, to South-East Asia and LatAm. The founder journey is a long and varied one. So much of it is having the right people around you to help signpost the more obscure parts of the road. I do what I do because I get energy from building long lasting relationships and helping founders build something that matters. We’re in it together for the long haul. 

Much of my background as an investor has been at the intersection of operating and investing. 

Every role I have had has involved helping to build a new strategy, systems and processes to scale a firm. That was as true of my time at the European venture fund Balderton Capital, helping to launch the first iteration of their growth strategy, as it was at Marcho investing in global public tech, and now at Atomico to scale the later stage platform together with an incredible team. 

I’m always trying to learn more.  

One of the constants in my life has been seeking out opportunities to keep learning. It’s why I moved from being an econ grad at Oxford to a neuroscience researcher at Imperial, an investor at Goldman to a VC in Europe and then on to a global tech hedge fund investing right before joining Atomico. I’m always looking for people who know more than I do. The fastest way to learn is by hiring and working with people who are smarter than you. You’re in the wrong room if you’re the smartest one in it. 

I’m excited by all the things we don’t yet know. 

It means we can do better. It’s an open invitation to a generation of founders. The capital is there. The problems we need to address in the coming decades require people who can synthesise both new technologies and complex end markets from climate change to crypto. So much of the beauty of true innovation lies in all the categories yet to be created, that are still completely unknown. 

A sense of humour goes a long way. 

I am a jack of multiple places and a master of some: I have family in the UK, France, Syria and, courtesy of my husband, the US. But I grew up in London. One of the things I carry with me is my father’s dry humour. There are few situations a bit of a levity can’t improve! 

Everything can feel like failure in the middle. 

By the time you get to the scale up phase, there’s a lot that’s working and usually even more starting to burst at the seams. You’ve got more people to answer to but you’ve also got a better line of sight on what could be, if all goes well, a game changing business. That’s where we can step in as a team to support you, bringing the full Atomico partnership, our community and resources to bear. 

The hardest person to improve is yourself. It’s also the thing you have most control over.  

I’ve learned a lot from the founders I’ve been lucky enough to work with. It’s what you do when the chips are down, how you get better at bouncing back to show up after the 100th argument with your co-founder(s), fine tuning the hacks to maintain your health so you can survive the journey intact, honing the ability to say no to your largest customer when you’re on the back foot and the honesty to say “I don’t know”. Sometimes, it’s the ability to admit you got it wrong and have difficult conversations with the people who rely on you for guidance. It’s not easy. We’re all work in progress. 

I do many things badly but for fun. 

That includes playing the guitar and painting but I haven’t let that put me off yet! If you’re looking for me, I can also be found travelling or reading, which thankfully I can do moderately well. 

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