Atomico, the European VC fund founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström, has made another promotion. Tom Wehmeier, the firm's Head of Research and already an existing member of the investment team, is making the step up to Partner. He joins a spew of recent internal promotions by Atomico, including Carolina Brochado and Teddie Wardi, who both became Partners in January.
In a call, Wehmeier, who first joined Atomico as VP of Research in May 2013 before being promoted to Principal and Head of Research less than two years later, explained that his original background was as a telecoms analyst, witnessing up close the smartphone and mobile internet revolution, with an eye on using data to understand the bigger picture and how something that disruptive could and would play out. At Atomico he has been quietly using those skills internally to help the investment team understand how technology and macro market trends interact with a potential investment.
As he described it, a big part of his job is to model these "what if" scenarios ie what if assumptions about a particular new technology, startup and market trend pan out to be true, rather than end in failure. Specifically, he is tasked with sifting through as much data as possible to model the outcomes and size of opportunity and, of course, the competitive landscape. Or, put more simply, use data and his analytical skills to try to model how the future might play out.
Externally -- and not unrelated -- Wehmeier authors Atomico's annual State of European Tech Report, which is a comprehensive attempt at taking a data-driven pulse on the entire European tech ecosystem. (You can help improve that data by taking a survey for this year's report here). He's also written a number of other reports published by Atomico and writes the fortnightly Need-To-Know updates with Atomico Senior Associate Stephen Thorne.
Perhaps unsurprising for a VC firm whose latest fund is $765 million in size and with the level of ambition -- from flying taxis to "clean" meat -- that Atomico has been displaying lately, its team size and operational support continues to grow. I understand the VC now counts 15 Partners in total.
Including newly promoted Wehmeier, ten are on the investment team, while Atomico's Growth Acceleration Team has five Partners. In addition, the firm has four senior Executives-in-Residence on the Growth Acceleration Team who are not full time Partners but are senior operators who work with Atomico's portfolio companies.