The week in Italian startups - Issue #6
No new investment rounds were announced this week in the digital sector. Funds and investors appear to have slowed down the pace of investment - or, rather, they have raised the bar for selecting new targets.
Milan-based biotech company Genespire raised an investment round from Sofinnova Partners, through its Telethon fund, which announced final closing last week at 108M euro. The managers have pledged to invest exclusively in Italian startups, and will focus on biotech companies addressing rare and genetic conditions.
Turin-based tech-transfer and investment company Liftt raised 7.2M euros to continue investing in research-based startups and university spin-offs. Liftt aims at investing 90M euros between 2020 and 2024.
Startup accelerators in Italy - one ends, one starts
Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator, based in Turin, organized a virtual Demo Day to showcase the 10 participants, coming from all over the world. The only Italian participant, TUC technology, offered a glimpse in a quite futuristic "standardized" development platform for the car of the future.
Bocconi University, one of the leading economic & business universities in Italy, announced the start of its startup acceleration program aimed at alumni and students from Bocconi and other selected universities. 5 startups were selected in this batch, each of them received 30K eur and will work for 4 months.
Research this week
Matteo Pisani from Plug'n Play published a research on the opportunity in investing in agriculture insurance. Agriculture is being disrupted at many levels of the stack - from the underground layer, up to data&analytics. Insurance is next in line.
Unsurprisingly, ecommerce is showing strong growth rates across the board. Salesforce recently published it Q1 shopping index providing further insights into global and (some) country-specific data.
I am pretty sure that everyone is overwhelmed by links and discussions about Covid-19. But I found quite interesting the initiative by Soldo, a "spend" management company based in UK and founded by serial entrepreneur Carlo Gualandri: they adapted their platform to allow distribution of financial aid to people and families, with a swift adoption by several municipalities. A very nice example of how tech can be used to solve problems.
Last week I published several links and articles regarding the debate about "VCs are open or closed for business". Gil Dibner has probably pinpointed the general mood of many fund managers, with great openness: yes, they are open for business, but the bar for new investments has been raised by a lot. More analysis on this by Levin Bunz in his medium post.
Thats all for this week. For comments, questions and ideas, just hit the reply button.