Kreos Insights

Interview: Mattias Ljungman, Partner at Atomico

By 02/11/2016June 4th, 2021No Comments

Mattias has been an investor for over a decade, focused primarily on technology with an emphasis on fintech, gaming and social media/communications. He founded venture capital firm Atomico in 2006 alongside Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, to work with great entrepreneurs and disruptive companies who are primarily based outside Silicon Valley. Mattias has worked closely with a number of portfolio companies on their expansion and exits, including Supercell, 6Wunderkinder, Climate Corporation, Xobni, Massive Media and Power Reviews. He sits on the boards of Hailo, Chemist Direct, FON, Truecaller, Uniplaces and LendInvest and is also responsible for Atomico’s investments in Klarna and Evrythng.

Prior to Atomico, Mattias was a private investor focusing on consumer internet, enterprise and deep technology businesses. His investments included bid-up TV (sold to Telewest for $360m), Amino Technologies (LSE: AMO), Clearspeed (LSE: CSD) and Lunarstorm.


Mattias, we have known each other since the start of Atomico. The history of your firm is special. Could you tell us how you all got started?

It is special. Niklas and I have known each other a long time, in fact we first met when I declined to invest in his company Kazaa! But by 2006, we had come together and our vision was clear. We were both committed to reinvesting in the future of European tech, helping new generations of entrepreneurs scale their companies to become global winners. We had Niklas’ expertise as a hugely successful founder and mine as an investor, and it just worked.


As a founder of Skype, Niklas Zennström has an impressive track record and is obviously a cornerstone of Atomico but you also have a very diverse and experienced team today. What makes Atomico different in the investor community?

It’s true that Niklas’ entrepreneurial legacy is important to the company, but we’ve built a team around him that’s outstanding in its own right.

Atomico’s team of investors and advisors now includes founders of six billion dollar plus companies, and operational leaders who were responsible for global expansion, hiring, user growth and marketing at companies from Skype and Google to Uber, Spotify and Facebook.


With fresh capital available, you are obviously very active in the market at the moment. What is the current investment strategy of Atomico, and what type of companies and situations are you looking for?

We invest in internet based growth companies, primarily outside Silicon Valley, which are led by outstanding entrepreneurs with the vision and ambition to disrupt established industries, and we help them to scale their businesses domestically and globally. We focus on Europe in particular and are currently excited about hubs like London, Berlin and Stockholm, and in areas such as FinTech and AI amongst others. We invest at growth stage so are interested in any company with a great product, underpinned by excellent technology, with the potential to become an international category winner!