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The $200B opportunity for Intelligent Automation

Global enterprises spend $500B a year on software, with a further $1T spent annually on IT services to support this. There is also estimated to be over a billion knowledge workers globally, conservatively accounting for $20T of workforce spend.

Intelligent Automation is the name for a collection of technologies including pattern identification, anomaly detection, item classification and language understanding which are driving the current wave of Enterprise Software disruption, and unlocking technology’s ability to take on more of this spend. …

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I count myself incredibly lucky that I get to spend every day doing a job I love.

I was fortunate to join an ambitious team in a remarkable industry early in my career. Almost eight years ago, it was a team that took a chance on me, mentored and developed me, and gave me as much opportunity as I could take. Today it is a team that welcomes me as a Partner.

It’s been quite a journey. I’ve seen Atomico raise progressively larger funds and more than double in size. We’ve partnered with over fifty exceptional Founding teams, building some of the most exciting technology companies in the world. …

While the transition of Enterprises from on-premise to cloud is often considered one of the more mature technology trends, it is in fact still in its early stages.

A recent Goldman Sachs report estimated cloud penetration of addressable technology areas across the enterprise at 10% at the end of 2019, set to rise to 13% by the end of this year and 20% by 2023.

Successful cloud applications will be built across many categories, but new collaboration tools have the potential to be some of the most impactful in improving the way that people work.

Photo by Wesley Tingey

After an eleven year run of economic growth, the events of the past three months have triggered a period of monumental uncertainty, simultaneously forcing paralysis in businesses across the globe.

Throughout the economy, companies have had to make impossible choices in order to keep their lights on, and governments have stepped in to back them up with previously unimaginable sums of money in support.

What happens following a crisis?

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In November, Atomico and Point Nine Capital joined forces to host 100 entrepreneurs, operators and investors at the Design Office Towers in Munich for four-and-a-half hours of discussion on “Manufacturing the Future — Digitally Transforming European Industry”.

The overriding feelings were of optimism about the opportunity Europe has to defend its position as a global leader and innovator in the next wave of Industry, and of growing excitement at how the community can realise this chance. …

Design is a fundamental driver of society’s advancement. The design process allows us to find solutions to increasingly complex problems, and to create ever more advanced physical systems and mental constructs, which in turn enable us to grow and thrive.

Through history, the design process has itself been supported by an evolving set of tools and methods, from pencil, paper and modelling clay, to well defined qualitative methods for helping to understand needs and opportunities.

A couple of weeks ago I had some friends over for dinner, and it struck me afterwards that we had spent a lot of the evening talking about Artificial Intelligence. As a venture capital investor focussed on emerging technologies, I am used to my work day being filled with conversations about technology trends and advances. However over the last 12 months I have found myself having more of these conversations outside the office too, and they are almost always focussed around AI.

Looking at mentions of key technologies in a set of general news sources, you can see that AI…

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Fifteen years ago a technology company shipped PCs, operating systems, or word-processing software. Today, technology companies are at the core of most of the world’s major industries.

Look at Facebook, Uber or Airbnb, who all leveraged technology to drive fundamental change in the way things are done.

Machine learning is at the start of the same journey. Today it is still an emerging technology, used by a small number of cutting-edge companies to improve their products with more accurate insights or better user experiences.

As an investor though, my current focus is to find companies going beyond this, making machine…

Last week, Google DeepMind announced that they had open sourced Sonnet, a software library that draws on DeepMind’s internal best practices for quickly building neural network modules in TensorFlow. This is a great resource, leveraging the collective experiences of some of their 250 highly skilled engineers, released to enable others to more effectively apply machine learning to their problems.

In fact, over the last few years, the world’s biggest tech companies (including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Baidu, Amazon and more) and university research labs have open sourced at least 2.5 …

Demis Hassabis, Niklas Zennström, Siraj Khaliq, David Cleevely, Anne Glover, Robert Dighero, Wendy Tan White, Ben Medlock, Stuart McTavish and Suranga Chandratillake at Queens’ College Cambridge, March 2017

If you look at the six most valuable public companies in the world today, you will notice something striking. Five of them are the tech companies Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, founded on the West Coast of the US between 1975 and 2004, three of whom who have achieved this ‘most valuable’ status in the last five years.

Whilst the highest ranked European company today is 19th-ranked Nestlé, there is a clear positive in that these six companies have achieved their status so recently. This, combined with the fact that Europe has just produced it first $100B tech company…

Ben Blume

@benblume · VC @atomico · Hunting for gamechanging Enterprise founders applying hard tech innovation to massive inefficiencies and major industries

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