Hiro Tamura of European fund Atomico analyzes tech ecosystems [Podcast]

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During an event for Wamda Capital’s investors and partners earlier this year, Hiro Tamura gave a presentation on global emerging trends in tech, highlighting tools and opportunities in MENA.

Tamura is a partner at Atomico, a London-based fund launched in 2006 that invests in disruptive tech companies from Series A onwards outside Silicon Valley. It mostly focuses on European ventures.

Hiro Tamura during his talk at the Wamda Capital offices (Image via Wamda)

Tamura first encountered one of his current partners at Atomico, Niklas Zennström, cofounder of Skype, when working on expanding Zennström’s platform internationally.

Before joining Atomico in 2008, Tamura was involved in pan-Asian tech investment and consultancy. Once he came on board at Atomico, he oversaw the raising of the firm’s third fund which was worth three times as much as the previous fund on it’s closing date .

In his presentation, Tamura addressed different tech ecosystems, and analyzed the observable macro landscapes in the sector. He looked at emerging trends in the tech world and emphasized on the available tools for investors today, especially in emerging markets such as the MENA.

00.00: Investing outside of Silicon Valley, and what does the world look like outside. Although there is a developed ecosystem in the Valley, there are huge opportunities in local tech communities. Tech outside the valley is reaching an inflection point.

6.15: The corporate world has massively changed in the last 10 years, and the five largest listed companies globally are now all VC-backed digital businesses, and this is just the beginning.

Technology is disrupting food, transport, financial services, healthcare, real estate, etcetera. All the new value is going to be created by companies with technology at the core.

In the next 10 to 20 years, the most valuable company in every sector will be a tech company.

8.25: Talking about inflection points in technology outside of Silicon Valley, ecosystems outside California are very nascent. Since 2003, companies worth over $200 billion have been formed outside the valley.

9.20: Discussing Europe as a ‘non-valley’ emerging tech ecosystem. Since Skype’s foundation, $44 billion worth companies were founded in Europe.

10.15: The Middle East is following the footsteps of Europe and is ready to scale in the same way.

10.30: Analyzing the macro landscapes.

Ups and down in the public market or political surprises have little impact on the development of tech.

Over the next 10 years, Atomico believes that the MENA and Europe will reach a point to develop a company at the same scale as a young Google and a young Facebook. They have the ingredients, and it is just a matter of time.

12.00: How did we reach this point in technology, developing it from a mere sector to a globally transformative power.

Many of the world's most important companies are continuing to stay private for a much longer time, such as Uber and Airbnb.

13.05: So much value is being created in private markets because of the speed at which technology is moving and growing.

Multi-billion dollar acquisitions are happening from both tech and non-tech giants.

14.10: Supercell’s success story, from small Finnish game studio to one of the fastest growing companies ever.  

The innovation pace has also brought down giants, which failed to grow at the same pace of their most aggressive competitors

The average company’s lifespan is the shortest it’s ever been

16.10: Fading away isn’t inevitable, Microsoft as an example

Technology cycles are making it increasingly challenging to maintain the status quo as an executive

18.40: This is just the beginning, it’s an exciting time to be a tech investor or founder

20.30: Overview of some of the important emerging trends in the tech landscape:

Artificial intelligence, forward-looking companies have already started recruiting thousands of people and billions of dollars.

24.10: Another transformational trend is VR/AR, which are both on track to be the next new platforms.

25.10: The Internet of Things: Integrating sensors into building environments, enables us to capture data that we can scale. This has never been possible before.

26.25: The future of transport and its effects on the ecosystem, in the auto industry, media, and insurance, etcetera.

27.50: The MENA is producing regional champions with huge ambitions that are reaching impressive levels of success.

The MENA is also becoming a testing ground for world leading innovation.

28:20: Investors will have a role to play in capturing opportunities from the global tech march.

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