The week in Italian startups - Issue #16
A new fintech startup codenamed "Progetto Banca Idea" 🇮🇹raised €45M from a syndicate of strategic and financial investors (including 360 Capital Partners, Banca Sella, Gruppo Generali... here the full investor list). The project is led by Roberto Nicastro (former General Manager at Unicredit) and is aimed at developing a specialist digital bank for professionals and small/micro-enterprises.
Leaf Space [cb] announced in a blog post a new €3M early-stage round, subscribed by Whysol Investments and RedSeed Ventures [cb]. Leaf Space is a space economy startup offering ground services to micro-satellites operators.
Progress Tech Fund (a technology-transfer specialist fund) announced on Linkedin a €200K investment in FinApp, a University of Pauda spin-off. The spin-off has developed a technology to monitor the amount of water in large areas by using cosmic rays.
Amazon and Techstars announced the new cohort of the Alexa Next Stage program. Among the selected participants we have Turin-based startup Alba Robot. The company is developing a new type of wheelchair for people with reduced mobility, powered by the latest advancements in robotics, voice, IoT.
If you ever wondered how H1 2020 performed in terms of fundraising in Italy, 🇮🇹 look no further than this article on StartupItalia. It provides a good overview of the year so far. Anna Gaudenzi counted €260M invested and 5 exits to date.
The acquisition I missed
Last week I missed the news about Esprinet [PRT.MI] acquiring Spanish VAR & cloud distributor GTI Group. GTI Group is the sixth-biggest operator in Spain, with revenues of €180M. Apologies for missing out on this one.
This week in partnerships
MusixMatch [cb], a realtime lyrics & song translations startup, announced a strategic partnership with Spotify. According to the announcement, Spotify agreed to adopt MusixMatch technology to show real-time lyrics of the songs played in the Spotify app. The service should already be available in 26 countries.
Paypal announced a partnership with Esselunga, one of the major supermarket groups in Northern Italy (>150 malls, >23K employees, ~€8Bn revenues). Customers will be able to pay for their online groceries by using Paypal. The announcement once again is proof of the push towards online commerce caused by the pandemic.
Altido, a pan-European vacation rental management company with a portfolio of 1.8K properties, 🇮🇹 selected Vikey as the technology partner for self-check-in. Vikey [cb] was founded in 2016 and aims at serving 5K properties in the coming months.
Tweet of the week
Retention is a fundamental metric for many startups, yet it is often overlooked or misunderstood. Not having comparable data is one of the issues. The tweet below (and the related post) provides some useful reference points from the market.
Reports & research
The European Commission, in partnership with Dealroom and Sifted, published a map of European Startups that can be navigated and explored (you need to register). The free tier contains lots of useful information.
Michele Saruggia 🇮🇹published a research on Italian startup adopting or using AI. The report is still a work in progress (I can spot a few missing key players) but it is a good starting point.
This concludes this week issue. If you liked it, feel free to share it with your friends. Or hit reply for feedback!
Take care and have a great week,