Venture

Sasha Astafyeva

Sasha is a Partner at Atomico, based in London, where she leads on new investment opportunities in the consumer space. She is responsible for sourcing, due diligence and managing our partnerships with consumer companies.

I love partnering with founders who are focused on building distinctive mission-driven consumer propositions. Those who obsess over developing strong brand identities, forging emotional connections with customers, and creating customer value through the use of data and advanced technologies.

I left my hometown in Ukraine when I was just 15. 

I won a scholarship to study for a year in Hawaii and lived with American host families. This was a life-altering experience as I learned the value of an open mind, adaptability and communication. Those lessons have served me until now. 

There are going to be crests and troughs in this game. 

I think a lot of investors will say that conviction is the most important quality for a founder, but for me, it’s resilience. How are you at weathering the storms?

If you want to become a good leader, get good at reading and understanding people.  

Don’t underestimate team chemistry. The dynamics of the team are as important as the individuals that fill the roles. 

I cut my teeth as an operator in startups in the UK and Brazil.

I was Head of Business Intelligence and Strategy at Lyst, a London-based online fashion marketplace, VP of Finance and Business Intelligence at VivaReal, an online real estate marketplace in Brazil, and at Dafiti, Latin America’s largest online fashion retailer. 

Directly before Atomico I spent three years at Felix Capital in London.  I led investments and was on the boards of Mejuri, Adverity and Unmade, and a board observer for Highsnobiety and JobToday. I was also responsible for managing Felix Capital’s investments in Peanut and Shine. 

“I think being able to prioritize is one of the hardest tasks for an early-stage founder. Defining a shortlist of things that make a difference and focusing on them is paramount. I enjoy helping founders identify what matters. As a former operator, I think being able to combine conviction with humility about what you don’t know is one of the hardest balancing acts for a founder. As an investor, I always encourage founders to try to surround themselves with people who believe in their vision, who complement their skills, and who will both challenge and support them. Team-building is the hardest and most important job.”
Sasha Astafyeva

Ever since leaving my hometown, I’ve been a globe-trotter. 

They say that travelling opens your mind, but that’s reductive. When you travel, it’s up to you to tune in, pay attention and give yourself time for reflection. 

I have an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Middlebury College, and speak 5 languages.  I’m fluent in English, Ukrainian, Russian, Portuguese and can usually get by in German. I dream of speaking more languages one day. 

Playing piano, painting and reading are my favorite ways to recharge.  

This is where I find my flow state. When I play piano or paint, I often find the best ideas coming to the surface. Being creative is an important part of my life and allows me to maintain mental clarity in our fast-paced world.    

Other partnerships with Sasha

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