Hiro Tamura was one of Atomico’s longest standing investors. He worked at the VC for 15 years, heading up its investment team and gaining a place on the Midas list of Europe’s best-performing investors.
Tamura led Atomico's investments into companies like Stripe and Sorare, and took board seats at top European companies like MessageBird.
Then, in early 2022, it was reported by Forbes that Tamura had been “dismissed” by Atomico following “complaints from staff over his management style.” Atomico confirmed Tamura’s departure to Forbes and said its founder, Niklas Zennström, would take over as investment lead.
Fast forward two years and Tamura is back to investing: six sources told Sifted that they have heard Tamura is out in the market raising capital.
Sifted reached out to Tamura for comment but did not receive a reply.
A dormant company no more?
On LinkedIn, Tamura is listed as CEO and founder of Wathos, described as a “private investment office investing in and advising high-growth private technology companies from around the world,” since 2022.
Wathos was registered on the UK’s Companies House a decade earlier, in 2012, with Tamura listed as a director shortly after. Since October 2017, Tamura has been listed as the sole shareholder of Wathos.
The company was not active for a long time; in 2018, it received a ‘First Gazette’ notice from Companies House — the first step to being struck off the register. It filed its accounts that year as a ‘dormant company,’ meaning it didn’t carry out any business activities.
An Atomico alum jumps aboard
There have been signs of life in recent months, however.
In October last year, Andrew Crankshaw, who worked as finance director at Atomico from 2008 to 2020, was made a director of Wathos in its company filings. Sifted reached out to Crankshaw but did not receive a reply.
Six sources have told Sifted that they've heard Tamura is currently out raising a new VC fund. It is not clear what the fund is called — or if it is connected to Wathos.
His personal website says, “I’m currently based in London, investing in and advising high-growth private tech companies as well as technology investment funds internationally”.
Before joining Atomico, Tamura worked as a banker for Lehman Brothers in New York, and went on to found a technology consultancy where he advised companies like Skype (founded by Atomico’s Zennström).
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