Skype Boys Raising a Massive New Fund

Skype co-founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis along with ex-Skyper Geoffrey Prentice are raising a new fund for their investment vehicle, Atomico. The plan is to raise a total of 300 million euros ($450 million), 100 million euros of which is coming from Zennstrom, Friss & Co. (which makes raising the whole amount relatively easy.) I have heard this from multiple (and reliable) sources, so I feel comfortable reporting this.

Atomico has become an aggressive investor in Europe and has backed many online video startups, such as Deca, WooMe and Seesmic. While some of their investments — like FON and Joost — are having a bit of a bumpy ride, Atomico can count the $280 million sale of Last.fm to CBS as a win.

The new fund will make them a disruptive player in the EU venture world, and their entrepreneurial record will make them an attractive option for European startups.The presence of another deep-pocketed investor combined with a limited number of quality deals in Europe is likely to boost valuations — good news for startups. Other VCs should take note.

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