On Monday morning, Breakit reported that Niklas Zennströms venture capital firm Atomico had recruitet a number of Nordic startup profiles. Among them were Spotifys previous marketing manager Sophia Bendz and the Supercell-founders Mikko Kodisoja and Ilkka Paananen.
In total, about ten seasoned startup professionals are tied to Atomico. However, the press release did not reveal why exactly the company did such a mass recruitment. According to Breakits sources it has to do with the imminent launch of a new large investment fund.
In late 2013, Atomico raised $476 million for its latest fund. Most players in the venture capital industry usually lets four or five years pass before they start a new fund, but Niklas Zennström apparently has a more aggressive plan. Zennström is already, merely two years after his latest fund was announced, planning a new fund, according to multiple unrelated sources to Breakit.
The exact size is still uncertain, but according to Breakits sources it should be somewhere between 7 and 10 billion SEK ($800 million – $1,2 billion). This would mean that Zennström is stepping up to the premier league of European tech funds.
The fund will be bigger than for example EQT’s latest fund, which is estimated at 5 billion SEK ($600 million) and led by Hjalmar Winbladh. Zennström’s Atomico also surpasses Spotifys largest external share holder, Northzone, which latest fund was at about 3 billion SEK ($325 million).
This will be Atomico’s fourth fund. So far the company has made some 30 investments in european tech companies. The company has invested in, among others, Swedish companies Wrapp, Klarna and Truecaller.
Breakit has reached out to Niklas Zennström, but he has declined to comment.