Niklas Zennström is CEO and Founding Partner at Atomico. He is an experienced entrepreneur, having previously co-founded and managed globally successful technology companies including Skype, Kazaa, Joost and Joltid.
In 2006, Niklas created Atomico to help entrepreneurs, primarily from outside Silicon Valley, to scale their businesses globally. In addition to overseeing Atomico’s strategy, he works closely with a number of founders of portfolio companies and sits on the boards of Rovio, Mapillary, Truecaller, Farmdrop and ZocDoc. Niklas is most excited about founders that are solving major world problems using digital technology. Niklas is also a passionate believer in the importance of entrepreneurs reinvesting in the next generation of European tech giants, and is proud to have been involved in the successful exits of Supercell, Last.fm, 6Wunderkinder, and The Climate Corporation.
Prior to starting Atomico, Niklas co-founded Skype, which became the first truly global category winning online company to be founded outside the US. He was CEO at Skype from its inception until September 2007. In 2005, Skype was sold to eBay Inc for $3.1bn. It was then bought back by a consortium that included Niklas, and was sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion cash in 2011.
In 2006, Niklas was recognised by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Influential People, and he has received numerous awards for entrepreneurship including the KTH Great Prize from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden (2009), the Oxford Internet Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), H.M. The King’s Medal (2013), the Gold Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (2013), and was voted Entrepreneur of the Year in the European Business Leaders Awards (2006).
In 2007, he co-founded Zennström Philanthropies, from which he actively invests in sustainability projects to solve important issues such as climate change, improving the state of the Baltic Sea and encouraging entrepreneurs to build companies that improve the environment. Niklas is also a keen yachtsman, and has won three Mini Maxi World Championships and one TP52 World Championship with his yacht racing team Rán.
Niklas 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.
Board & Advisor Roles (6)Update
|Jul, 2016||Automile||$6.2M / Series A||Personal Investment|
|Apr, 2016||Wolt||$12.4M / Series B||Personal Investment|
|May, 2015||ORBITAL SYSTEMS||$5M / Series A||Personal Investment|
|Jun, 2013||Wrapp||$15M / Series B||Atomico|
|Jan, 2012||Wrapp||$5M / Series A (Lead)||Atomico|
|Nov, 2011||Wrapp||$5.5M / Series A (Lead)||Atomico|
|Mar, 2011||Rovio Entertainment||$42M / Series A (Lead)||Atomico|
|Feb, 2011||Fon||€10M / Venture (Lead)||Atomico|
|Jul, 2009||Jolicloud||$4.2M / Series A (Lead)||Atomico|
|Jan, 2007||wunderloop||$10M / Series A||Personal Investment|
|Jul 25, 2016||Venture Beat - Connected car startup Automile drives home $6.2 million|
|Jun 20, 2016||informilo - Eileen Burbidge: The Passionate VC|
|Jun 19, 2016||Business Insider (tech) - One of the founders of Skype says working for this German internet company is better than working at Goldman Sachs|
|Jun 19, 2016||Business Insider Australia - One of the founders of Skype says working for this German internet company is better than working at Goldman Sachs|
|Jun 17, 2016||Pymnts - Funded B2B Startups Break Through The Mold|
|Jun 15, 2016||Business Insider Australia - 10 things in tech you need to know today|
|Jun 14, 2016||Venture Beat - Spain’s Jobandtalent raises $42M to match job seekers with vacancies using algorithms|
|Jun 14, 2016||Business Insider (tech) - A jobs website has received $42 million from a VC fund set up by one of Skype's cofounders|