Niklas Zennström is an internet entrepreneur who co-founded Skype, Kazaa, Joltid and Joost among other high-profile technology companies, before founding Atomico, the international technology venture capital firm based in London.
He serves as CEO and Founding Partner of Atomico, overseeing its strategy and overall management in addition to sourcing new investments and working with portfolio companies.
Prior to forming Atomico, he held the position of CEO at Skype from its inception until September 2007, when he became the company’s chairman, a post that he held until March 2008. During this time, Skype became the global leader in Internet voice communications, with more than 309 million registered users within five years of launch and revenues of $130 million in Q1 2008. In 2005, Skype was sold to eBay for $3.1 billion. Subsequent to this, Skype was bought back by a consortium that included Niklas, and was later sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion cash in 2011.
Before starting Skype, Niklas co-founded and served as CEO of Kazaa, which became the world’s most downloaded Internet software in 2003. Prior to that, Niklas was CEO of the European portal everyday.com and was a general manager at get2net. Niklas started his professional career at Tele2, a pioneering competitive phone company in Europe.
He was recognized by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Influential People in 2006, and has received numerous other awards for innovation and entrepreneurship.
When Niklas is not investing in innovative and fast-growing businesses, he finds time to relax through competitive sailing, and has won the Mini Maxi World Championship title and the Fastnet Race among other international trophies. He also enjoys skiing, loves travelling, has a wide and eclectic taste in music, and is drawn to the diversity of modern art. Niklas is a Swedish citizen, lives in London and is happily married.
In 2007 he and his wife created the Zennström Philanthropies, which is engaged in two primary programs, in human rights and the environment, with a special focus on global warming and the state of the Baltic Sea.
He holds dual degrees in Business and MSc Engineering Physics/Computer Science from Uppsala University in Sweden, and he spent his final year at the University of Michigan.