VC Hub changed its think tank status into an real association of venture capital funds (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Part of VC Hub are Italian players 360 Capital, Indaco Venture Partners, P101, Panakès Partners, PrimoMiglio, United Ventures, LVenture, Sofinnova Partners, Milano Investment Partners, Oltre Venture, Endeavor Italia, Embed Capital, Aurora Science, Genextra, Gaia Capital, Bheroes, A11 Venture, Lumen Ventures, RedSeed Venture, Biovalley Investment Partners, and bespoke corporate venture funds active in Italy. This association aims to spread the knowledge of the venture capital sector in Italy and suggest the institutions actions for supporting the Italian ecosystem for innovation, said Fausto Boni, one of the founders of 360 Capital Partners and the first chairman of VC HUB, which aims to be an alternative to Aifi, the Italian Association of private equity, venture capital and private debt investors.
Neva Finventures, the corporate venture capital of Intesa Sanpaolo, applied to Banca d’Italia for becoming an independent alternative asset manager, Maurizio Montagnese, the chairman of ISIC (Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center), said to BeBeez on the sidelines of VentureUp event (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Neva aims to expand its focus beyond the fintech sector and to tech innovation. For this reason, the fund aims to rais 250 million euros by 3Q19. Neva’s head is Mario Costantini. Guido de Vecchi, executive managing director of ISIC, said that the fund aims to sign partnerships with further business accelerators on top of the agreement it closed with Usa Techstars. The new asset manager will work with Indaco Ventures, another investment vehicle born in 2018 out of a spin-off of Intesa’s venture capital funds. Indaco belongs to Davide Turco and the managers (51%), Futura Invest, and Intesa Sanpaolo (24.5% each)
Rancilio Cube, the family office of the Rancilio, launched Cube 3, an investment veichle focused on venture capital investments (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Rancilio Cube transferred to Cube 3 all the venture capital assets that the family acquired since 2013 after having sold to Alto Partners its company for the manufacturing of professional coffee machines. Cube 3 raised then a capital increase of 11 million euros that a pool of family offices subscribed. The list of investors in Cube 3 includes: Ares (Cassina-Pezzoli Family), Luigi and Tiziano Doppietti, Nico Ventures (Marco Nicosia), Rancilio Farm (Roberto Rancilio), R301 (Alessandro Rivetti), Finn Holding (Claudio Tavazzani), Mlts (Emilio Tommasi), Vis Capital (Giovanni Tremonti), and CubOne. Luca Rancilio founded Rancilio Cube with Silvia and Adele Rancilio. Members of the board and of the investment committee are Luca Rancilio, Alessandro Rivetti, Alessandro Piccioni, Giulia Pezzoli, and Emilio Tommasi. Marta Pradella and Massimo Ruffoni are part of the operative team. The assets of Cube3 are worth in the region of 27 million euros in companies and other international venture capital funds (18% in Italy, 33% in Europe, and 49% in USA and in Israel) such as Firstmark V, DST VII, Jackson Square Venture III, GSquared IV (US), Speedinvest F e 3, Target Global Mobility e Early Stage II, Oxford Science Innovation, Triodos Organic Growth (EU). The list of portfolio companies includes US-based SpaceX, Airbnb, 23andme, Flexport, Capsule, Coursera, Toast, Omaze, Naadam, N26, Taboola, Heart Flow, Europe’s Casavo, Treedom, Freeda, Supermercato24, Soundreef, SumUp, Tier, Lyst, Fraugster, Bnext, Prodigy Finance, Travelperk, Deliveroo.
Rottapharm Biotech and Italfarmaco launched AurorA Science a new investor in startups (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Rottapharm Biotech is an Italian R&D company for the high-technology drugs sector that belongs to the Rovati family, while the De Santis family is the owner of Italfarmaco. Seasoned managers and entrepreneurs of the pharma and biotech sectors poured resources in AuroA Science through AurorA-TT, whose chairman is Guido Guidi (former Head Pharma Region Europe for Novartis), Edoardo Negroni and Gabriele Campi (one of the founders of Altheia Science) act as managing directors, while Paolo Rizzardi and Pierluigi Paracchi (cofounder and ceo of Genenta Science) are the company’s venture partners. In September 2019, Fidim, the financial holding of the Rovati family, subscribed together with the Chinese private equity fund Qianzhan Investment Management the 13.2 million euros round that Italian-US company Genenta Science launched. In September 2018, Altheia Science raised 11 million US Dollars from Fidim and Rottapharm Biotech. AurorA Science aims to carry on two or more investments per year worth 1-5 million in the next 3-4 years. The fund will target pre-clinic and early stage clinic development products. Italfarmaco has a turnover of 682 million with an ebitda of 162 million and net cash of 65 million.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will increase from 100 million euros to 500 million its allocation in venture capital initiative with a focus on tech transfer sector (see here a previous post by BeBeez). EIB’s vice-president Dario Scannapieco said on the sidelines of VentureUp that such a decision is consistent with the Horizon 2020 plan.
In 2019, venture capital funds hit the peak for Italian transactions, said the report Venture Capital Monitor – VeM of the Venture Capital Monitor of LIUC – Università Carlo Cattaneo di Castellanza Business School, AIFI, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, and E.Morace&Co Studio Legale. According to the report 148 Italian venture capital deals were closed compared to 102 in 2018 (see here a previous article by BeBeez and here the 2018 Vem Report). The increase reflected in the volumes invested, whose total went up from 521 to 597 million euros. These numbers compare with those of BeBeez’s Venture Capital 2019 Report (available for subscribers to BeBeez News Premium) which takes into account the investments publicly announced by venture funds but also by business angels and other investors and which has mapped round announcements of ventures closed by 243 between startups and scaleups for a total of approximately 565.6 million euros, up sharply from 510 million euros, split over 179 companies, registered in 2018. These data include not only the pure equity collected by the companies , but also venture debt and equity crowdfunding (net of real estate campaigns). If we do not consider venture debt, the figure for 2019 drops to 510.6 million and that for 2018 to 480 million, indicated in the BeBeez Report on venture capital 2018.
French energy giant Edf (Electricité de France) acquired a controlling stake of UK startup Pod Point, a provider of recharge points for electric vehicles, on the ground of an enterprise value of 100 million British Pounds (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Italian Ame Ventures invested in the company’s first round in 2017 and cashed an above 30% IRR out of such an exit.
Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley open innovation platform that is active in Italy since April 2019, created Plug and Play Italy, an Italian fintech pole, together with Milan-listed Nexi and Unicredit (see here previous post by BeBeez). Such pole aims to bridge Italy with the Silicon Valley for attracting fintech firms and talents that generate value and innovation and export excellent Made in Italy products. Ubi Banca is the ecosystem partner of this pole and will be part of its events and shortlist the participant startups. At the end of January, Nexi and Unicredit held in Frankfurt the shortlist of startups that Plug&Play will take to Italy for pitching investors and joining deep flow and deep dive events. A deep dive event will take place on 3 April 2020 for discussing about Npes. Andrea Zorzetto is the managing partner of Plug and Play Italy.
Swedish Klarna Bank, a paytech giant, acquired Italian startup Moneymour from Reale Mutua Assicurazioni and Milan-listed incubator Digital Magics (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Digital Magics gained 3X the invested capital for the sale of its 13.82% stake in the target. Klarna Bank was born in 2005 and in August 2019 it raised 460 million US Dollars on the ground of an enterprise value of above 5.5 billion from Dragoneer Investment Group (lead investor), Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HMI Capital, Merian Chrysalis, Första AP-Fonden, IPGL, IVP, and BlackRock. Giacomo De Lorenzo (ceo) and Michele Giannotta (cto) founded Moneymour in February 2018 and in the same year joined Magic Wand, the acceleration programme of Digital Magics for Fintech and Insurtech, and attracted the resources of Reale Mutua. Moneymour allows its clients to pay their online buys in small monthly instalments after having carried on a digital credit score for issuing instant loans. Moneymour team will entirely join Klarna and help the parent company to set its presence in Italy and improve its underwriting capability.
Italian crowdfunding sector, whether it took the form of equity, lending (except invoice trading), reward and donation, raised 442.7 million euros, 164 million in 2019 (+59% yoy), said the crowdfunding report for 2019 of Starteed (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Claudio Bedino, one of the founders of fintech firm Oval Money, created Starteed, a developer of solutions for the crowdfunding sector. According to CrowdfundingBuzz, equity crowdfunding platforms in Italy raised more than 65 million euros in 2019, in line with the data of the Crowdinvesting Observatory of Milan Polytechnic University, of which EdiBeez is the media partner. As for crowdlending, the actual data is even larger than the ones calculated by Starteed which, as mentioned, does not consider invoice trading platforms (BeBeez News Premium subscribers may read here the BeBeez Insight View abourt crowdlending, find out here how to subscribe to BeBeez News Premium for just 20 euros per month).
Italian equity crowdfunding firm Opstart aims to launch Crowdre, a marketplace for the real estate sector, and Crowdarena, a platform for secondary transactions, said ceo Giovanpaolo Arioldi (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Opstart will also place private debt investments with its new division Crowdbond and to this end it implemented the negotiation tolls that Frigiolini & Partners Merchant adopted for crowdfunding platform Fundera. Arioldi founded Opstart in 2015 together with Alessandro Arioldi (CTO) and Diego Zanchi.
LVenture subscribed the equity crowdfunding campaign that da Yakkyofy, an Italian dropshopping startup, launched on Mamacrowd (see here a previous post by BeBeez). The company set the least target of 0.15 million euros for a stake of 1.79%, and already raised 0.105 million from 33 investors, including LVenture. Yakkyofy received the incubation support of Luiss EnLabs. LVenture invested 0.3 million in the company’s first round of 0.816 million. Yakkyofy started a second round of 2 million for supporting its international expansion. Giovanni Conforti (ceo) and Carole Hsiao founded Yakkyofy which has sales of 2.2 million.
BigProfiles, an artificial intelligence-based SaaS B2B platform for forecasting clients potential behaviour, raised 1.5 million euros through a round that Invitalia Ventures and LVenture Group led (see here a previous post by BeBeez). In 2018 the company launched a 60,000 euros capital increase. Luigi Capello is the ceo of LVenture Group, Lorenzo Luce is the ceo and co-founder of BigProfiles and said that the company will invest the proceeds of this last round in its organic development. BigProfiles has sales of 1.2 million (199k euros in 2018 when the ebitda has been of minus 185k euros)
Ceresio Investors (part of Banca del Ceresio) launched a club deal and invested in Italian startup Heallo, a company that has patented a process of extraction of particular soluble fibres, Jax+, which reduce the glycemic peak in the blood after meals (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Francesca Varvello (ceo) and Franco Varvello founded Heallo in December 2018. Heallo is currently working on the production of a beer easy to digest with Italian trade peer Peroni
Real Estate Equity crowdfunding portal Concrete Investing hit a new fundraising peak of 2.5 million euros in 24 hours for the development of Milan-based project Bluestone (see here a previous post by BeBeez). However, since the upper target of the campaign is of 2 million, Concrete Investing could accept only a part of new investors. Gruppo BlueStone, a real estate development company, acted as the campaign’s sponsor.