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Niklas Zennstrom speaker

Niklas Zennström

London, UK

Co-founder of Skype

Serial internet entrepreneur

Major investor in new internet ventures

Niklas Zennström is a Swedish entrepreneur who in 2003, with his partner Janus Friis, founded Skype, the peer-to-peer internet telephone company.

Niklas was Skype’s CEO from its inception until 2007. During that time it became the global leader in internet voice communications, with more than 300 million users registering within five years of its launch. In 2005 it was sold to eBay for $3.1 billion. In 2009 Niklas was part of the investment consortium which bought Skype from eBay. In 2009 Skype had more than 500 millions users.

Prior to Skype, Niklas co-founded and served as CEO of Kazaa, the consumer file-sharing application that became the world’s most downloaded Internet software in 2003, and Joltid, the world’s leader in peer-to-peer technologies. Niklas and Janus also founded and sold Joost, an online video distribution service.

In 2007, he co-founded the London-based investment group, Atomico, and has become a significant figurehead for entrepreneurs in the technical sector. It has made a wide range of investments 30 high-growth internet companies, from the French Jolicloud, a rival OS to Windows and iOS, to music service RDIO. He is also an investor in Last.fm, MadBid, Woome and Angry Birds maker Rovio,

In 2011 Niklas received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute and in 2009 he was awarded the KTH Great Prize for his considerable entrepreneurship and technological skills. In 2006 Niklas was recognized by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Influential People as well as receiving numerous other awards that year including “Business Leader of the Year 2006” (European Voice), “Innovation in Computing and Communications 2006” (Economist Innovation Awards) and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ (European Business Leaders Awards 2006).

His charitable foundation focuses on climate change, human rights and social entrepreneurship.

Our Comment

"One of today’s most talked about Internet entrepreneurs, Niklas Zennström is at the heart of cutting edge businesses and his presentations provide a unique perspective of the future of modern communications. He has an extraordinary record of risk-taking, technical expertise and business savvy, who is able to put across his experiences and insights with real intensity."

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