The week in Italian startups - Issue #14
London-based Rentuu [cb] announced a new £1.5M round from a syndicate of investors including Italian Angels for Growth (an Italian angel club), Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (founder of EasyJet) and others. The company is addressing the equipment-for-hire European market.
Dog Heroes [cb], a fresh dog food production & delivery startup, 🇮🇹announced a €400K seed round a few weeks back (I missed it). The founders were inspired by Butternut Box (UK) and The Farmer's Dog (USA).
Mind The Gum, a startup producing a food supplement in the form of chewing gum, 🇮🇹raised €3M. Among the investors several "Serie A" football players.
Zucchetti 🇮🇹acquired Scloby [cb], a startup developing POS devices for retailers. The startup was founded in 2013 in the I3P accelerator and raised €300K so far.
This week I've been following a Twitter discussion about NBA players having the possibility to wear Oura rings: apparently, these rings can identify COVID19 symptoms days before they manifest. Digging deeper, it appears that some research has been spent about the capabilities of wearable devices as a means of detection. Well, Italian entrepreneurs have been following suit, as Empatica [cb], in partnership with BARDA, has just announced the research of a new smart bracelet, based on the startup tech+AI technology, aimed at identifying COVID19 symptoms early on.
Cortilia [cb], a fresh grocery delivery startup, 🇮🇹announced a growth of +150% in revenues and +300% in its user base for the period of the Italian lockdown, compared to the same period in the previous year. This gives an idea of the impact that COVID-19 had on accelerating the adoption of digital services.
Is AI coming for game designers?
An AI (a GAN, to be precise) by NVIDIA recreated PACMAN by "watching" videos of people playing the original game, and imitating the effects of user input on images it recreated by itself.
The essential reading list for any startup founder
YC startup school reading list. Enough said.
This is all for this issue. As always, feel free to reply to this email for comments or just to say "ciao", or forward it to anybody who might find it helpful.
Have a great week,