Skype Boys Raising a Massive New Fund

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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.

18 Comments

Quli

@jahangir – i’d prefer they invest in a completely opensource voip solution running it as SaaS for PSTN connectivity. Skype’s got a huge user base, most of whom are opensource junkies, yet it remains fairly closed and unstable on linux systems.

Rick

When business is tough, turn to investing. Diversify that pot of money.

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