The week in Italian startups - Issue #9
The Money - M&A and new funds
Italian company Dedagroup Stealth (part of Dedagroup, a 250M revenues conglomerate), acquired Zedonk, a UK company developing ERP systems for the fashion industry. The acquisition extends Dedagroup Stealth offering in this sector.
Speaking of acquisitions, Zucchetti announced the acquisition of Lybra.Tech, a startup offering price optimization services to the hotel industry. The price tag appears to be in the 7-9M range, according to the press release by LVenture Group, which invested in the seed round.
Meanwhile, French-Italian VC firm 360 Capital Partners announced the first closing of its fund IV, with a target closing at 90M euro and focusing on series A and B rounds:
The Money - startups are raising, too
InVrsion, a VR company based in Milan and developing a SaaS VR solutions for the retail market, raised 3M from a syndicate of investors including Liftt, a deep tech investment firm from Torino.
AorticLab raised 800k from a pool of angel investors and equity crowdfunding campaign. The startup is developing a non-invasive system aimed to restore the aortic valve leaflets’ pliability.
Will Media, a Instagram-based news startup aimed at digital natives, raised 1.2M from a syndicate of investors and family offices including Rancilio Cube and Invictus Capital.
Italy and the effects of COVID19
The Italian government has finally published a collection of measures specifically aimed at Italian startups, including:
An extension of up to 100M for a state-guaranteed credit program aimed at startups
200M of additional funding to a “VC support fund”, aiming at coinvesting with existing VC investors
tax breaks & credits related to R&D
the extension of tax credits for angel investors investing in innovative SMEs.
the creation of a 4M eur grant program aimed at videogame developers.
Compared to our EU peers, we are probably still punching well below our weight. Some commentators noted the absence of more effective measures in the short term, since most of the measures above require time to be deployed. Still, we finally have a set of safeguard measures dedicated to startups.
Interesting readings on the web
This week I came across several posts related to VC which I found interesting.
First of all, the critique: Gabe Kleinman (@ ObviousVC) published a post about VCs losing the sight of the real, world-changing products out there, while chasing markets that appear to suffer from diminishing returns:
Venture capitalists used to take big swings on industry-defining companies with ambitious missions and huge returns. Today's VCs need to return to their roots.
Second, a VC tech stack post by Francesco Corea (@ Balderton), about the different software tools and services that VCs use to manage their operations. The list is quite long and diverse, and includes both general purpose and quite specific products:
As everything these days seems to move online, it may be a good moment also for investors to sit back and re-evaluate the ways they run their businesses. When I started this mapping (and yes, it was…
Finally, unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you already know about the VC fund performance calculator published by AngelList. This is quite interesting, since the usual indicators (IRR, TVPI, DPI) adopted to measure the success of a VC fund can be quite confusing:
We solved the sample size problem that has held back VC fund benchmarking, improving precision and accuracy
That's all for this week.