Wouter Gort

Atomico in Turkey Soon?

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

The start of Atomico was in 2006 by the founder Niklas Zennström who is a Swedish billionaire entrepreneur best known for founding several high-profile online ventures with Janus Friis including Skype and Kazaa. More recently he founded the technology investment firm Atomico and has become a significant figurehead for entrepreneurs in the tech sector. [2]

In the beginning it was just like a super Angel investing in various types of companies together with other investors or other Angels, right now they have a more developed professional infrastructure that was enhanced over the years. Currently they have two people in Brazil, one person in China, another in Japan and Wouter Grot the one responsible for continent of Europe and based in Turkey whereas the Headquarter is in London.

Due to previous experience with Skype, Atomic is a great supporter to companies willing to hold investments. A matter of fact, Skype is by far the most successful non-Chinese company that is successful in China; since you don’t hear about Facebook and Google in China. Atomico kept a good relationship with some local brands in Japan like DNA the big Japanese gaming company for instance so they can engage with them and eventually work with them on near opportunities.

Some will wonder why Atomico didn’t start investing early in Turkey when the demographics are in perfect conditions and the facts pointing Turkey as a new emerging market in the region. To answer this question, Atomico is said to be opportunity driven not region team-based which leads us to the other point that its entrepreneurial roots make Atomico looking for experienced entrepreneurs in the local market that can be supported with the company’s connections and networks and be able to return the capital.

Atomico has invested before between 2,000 and 5,000 euro up to 20+ million which is quite the wide spectrum and yet Atomico is still finding its sweet spots in the market to find the right company that will most likely be successful with less chance of failure. Said local company has to have a traction in the market as it scale with clear set of ambitious goals to achieve with the most suitable strategy. So to say Atomico is responsible for hiring the local country manager in Turkey, Brazil and many regions to go.

Generally speaking, if the company is doing well in the local market and is scaling quickly with traction, called a breakdown company, then Atomico is comfortable with supporting it. Considering also that Atomico seeks some returns on its capital so they can’t invest a lot of money as it’s difficult for returns due to the limitations on the invested company’s growth.

In conclusion, Atomico is still trying to know where and how to fit in an emerging market as new as Turkey, no matter how amazingly perfect the demographic numbers are. Investors in Atomico don’t go with the common definition of success as entrepreneurs are the ones who know more about it due to their expertise in the business that differs from normal investment companies. However, Atomico is absolutely going in the market if it’s scaling significantly in the upcoming years.

─ December 10, 2019