The week in Italian startups - Issue #15
The News of the Week
The strategy behind the "Fondo Nazionale per l'Innovazione", a €1 Billion government-sponsored program to boost the Italian startup ecosystem, 🇮🇹 was finally unveiled by CDP Venture Capital. The 2020-2022 program acknowledges the gap between Italy and peer countries (e.g. France), and sets out the goal to complete the launch of 7 "systemic funds" to create a more mature market. The funds include:
Two existing "matching" funds, with a total of €230M AUM, active since 2015 and 2018;
A fund-of-funds with €300M under management, active since February 2020. The FoF has already announced its commitment in the first targets, Primo Space and Claris Biotech I;
A fund aimed at supporting the growth of startup accelerators, through direct and indirect investments, armed with €125M and launched in May 2020;
A €150M fund aimed at supporting the growth of the corporate venture capital market (to be launched in Q3-2020);
Finally, a €150M tech transfer fund (ETA Q3-2020) and a €100M late-stage fund (ETA H1-2021) will support technologies emerging from research institutions and "growth stage" startups, respectively.
The stated goal of this program is to enable the creation of €2.5-3.0 Billion of VC-managed capital by 2022. Will this be enough to catch-up with our peers? For sure, now we need our VCs to up their game. 😉
Flowers e-commerce company Colvin [cb] 🇮🇹announced a €14M round from existing investors 🇮🇹 P101 [cb], 🇮🇹 MIP [cb], and 🇪🇸 Samaipata [cb]. The company, founded in Spain, has recently extended its operations to Italy.
The heat among Italian wine&spirits startups is raising: after the announcement of the acquisition by Campari (see Issue #12) 🇮🇹Tannico announced Tannico Express, a last-minute delivery service. Winelivery [cb], the "original" last-minute wine&beer delivery startup, responded by 🇮🇹announcing a €2.5M round (that was actually closed back in February). Italians have no excuses for not having a fine wine ready for dinner, now.
Turin-based Club degli Investitori [cb], a business angels club, 🇮🇹 announced its first foreign investment in US-based Evergreen Theragnostics [cb], for a total of $1M. The medtech company operates as a "radiopharmaceutical contract development & manufacturing organization".
Sitar Teli and Pietro Bezza's Connect Ventures [cb] announced Connect Ventures III, a new $80M pan-european early stage fund. Backers include Top Tier Capital Partners, Isomer Capital, British Patient Capital, Big Society Capital, and De Agostini.
Angels4Impact, a new business angel club focused on investing in social & impact enterprises, was born out of the merger of two existing syndicates. The club counts +60 angels and a portfolio of +40 startups.
Siemens announced the acquisition of Cambridge-based UltraSOC [cb]. The cybersecurity company, focused on implementing hardware-level security and functional safety, had raised $21M from Octopus Ventures, Oxford Capital, Seraphim Capital and the Italian Indaco Venture Partners [cb].
Reading this week
Startup Genome released its Global Startup Ecosystem Report for 2020. Only 9 of the top 40 startup cities are based in Europe (and I guess it is really easy to name them). Southern Europe has still a long way to go, in case you are wondering. 😤
The news this week prepare the ground for an interesting future in Italy - hopefully, I'll have more work to do to follow events. Looking forward to it! 😌
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Have a great week,