mocoNews - Skype Co-Founders Are Launching Venture Fund, Looking To Raise $266 Million
Friday, May 8, 2009; 8:00 PM
Skype cofounders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis are no strangers to the venture world. In addition to Skype, which they sold to eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) for $4.1 billion, they also started Kazaa, a P2P file-sharing program that they sold to Sharman Networks, and Joost, which has struggled to gain its footing in the online video space but is rumored to be a possible takeover target for Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). Now, according to a regulatory filing , the two entrepreneurs are looking to become venture capitalists by raising $266 million for a fund called Atomico Ventures.
According to the filing, the minimum investment is $13.3 million. The fund will focus on European consumer-faced technology businesses with big ambitions to disrupt industries, like Skype and Kazaa did. It counts Geoffrey Prentice, Skype's first employee, and Mattias Ljungman, the former head of venture capital at CLS Holdings, as employees.
A number of entrepreneurs have donned the venture-capitalist hat as of late. We reported that Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and former Opsware exec Ben Horowitz are looking to raise $250 million for an early-stage fund, and former Google (NSDQ: GOOG) exec Noah Doyle is trying to launch his own fund.