Niklas Zennstrom, Founding Partner & CEO, Atomico and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb
It’s good to sell a company twice. The first time I was part of the product..so emotional. The second time I was an investor, so more a financial decision. (Skype). It has ended up in a good place. How are the trends? Looking at things like the iphone, mobile internet promised in 1999 but not really until after the iphone. Now most entrepreneurs looking at mobile models. Also the growth of ecommerce, especially on mobile. In Western countries, eg in Sweden, 10% of commerce is ecommerce. 5 years ago etc, it was too much of a niche. Now the small niches, eg shoes, are large opportunities.
Looking for potential investments? Looking for the people, the team need to have ambition, the desire, the intellectual capacity. They need the high ambition level. They need to have the right time, so things will happen. They need to be realistic as well
Fund is about $200m, invest in startups, in about 50 companies. They don’t look for subsectors. They are open minded. Look at Google, when they got into search, the other companies we becoming portals, as that was where the money was. Search was not the trend, so few would have been looking to invest. It’s not about pure innovation either, it is about focusing on great products
With Skype, they knew they would have freemium model but did not launch with it. Companies can do revenue earlier now. There was more focus on the backend, now more on front end, as there are cloud services. You need less money to start a company.
Predicts there will be more OS platforms. Carriers want to keep relationship with customers, so an independent system could be one there. He can’t tell companies to only focus on iPhone, or on Android. BUt can show them the numbers of users, hard to justify sometimes building on other platforms
A bit more than haf the investments are in EU. But is not ness a competitor for Silicon valley. SV is epicenter of tech innovation. But the likelihood of companies from other areas are growing. Entrepreneurs have access to the same information. The growth is outside the US, outside EU, it will be emerging markets. would rather invest in these kinds of places to grow.