Atlas Venture ups sticks to Boston

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We all know the crisis in the venture capital community is starting to have real word effects, but for some it means totally changing how they run. Today Atlas Ventures announced it is moving its entire operation to Boston, bringing together its US and European teams in one place, and reducing its headcount.

Atlas says its fundamental international early stage investment strategy “will not change” nor will its plans to “add new European investments” to its international portfolio. However, being based in Boston – with the normally European-based partner Fred Destin moving there as well – still deals a blow to the European startup eco-system and potentially calls into question Atlas’ position in the longer term. It is however, a boost for the U.S. East Coast system.

Long time partner Christopher Spray remains in London to manage the existing European portfolio. Graham O’Keeffe and Regina Hodits have transitioned to Venture Partner roles. Associate Max Niederhofer has become an official Entrepreneur-in-residence and is working on his own startup.

“Having all of us together in a single location will streamline decision-making and increase overall operating effectiveness,” said Partner Peter Barrett.

On the phone Destin told me the decision had come because Atlas felt it could make decisions a lot faster if everyone was in the same place. Plus, this is “Definitely reflects a long term trend to move towards smaller funds.”

He can say that again.

Atlas Venture has been around since 1980, investing in over 350 companies in more than 16 different countries. It’s currently investing from its eighth fund which closed in late 2008.

This is part of the wider changes going on in VC, but it is indicative of the fact that it is now very hard to find institutional Limited Partners willing to back VCs, especially in Europe.

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