The week in Italian startups - Issue #17
Soplaya [cb], a B2B food startup delivering locally sourced ingredients to restaurants, 🇮🇹 raised €3.5M in a round syndicated by P101 and CDP Venture Capital.
1000farmacie [cb], a pharmaceuticals marketplace & last-mile delivery startup, 🇮🇹 raised €1.5M from a syndicate of industrial investors including Healthware Ventures, the venture arm of Healthware Group [cb].
Cosaporto, a quality food & items delivery service operating in Rome, Milan, Turin, and London, 🇮🇹 raised €1.2M in a round led by Innova Venture, the direct investment vehicle managed by Lazio Innova.
Berlin-based Strive.school was selected for the next YC accelerator batch, as announced by its CEO Tobia De Angelis on Linkedin. Best of luck with the program!
A Game of Wines
I've covered in past issues wine delivery startups. Tannico and Winelivery, the two companies who made headlines, have not stopped there. I'm amused by how fast they are moving: this week 🇮🇹 Tannico announced the opening of a Tannico winebar (yep, a brick&mortar location in Milan), while Winelivery is spreading like wildfire, with 🇮🇹 the launch of the delivery service in Mestre (Venice) and in 🇮🇹 Bari, after the acquisition of DrinkMe, a local delivery service. I'm looking forward to when they will saturate the market downstream and will start integrating upstream, acquiring Prosecco and Barolo producers to start making their own wines (and making money on each other's distribution capabilities). 🍷🥂😃
Italian Government & AI
A task force of 30 experts selected by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development 🇮🇹 published a proposal about implementing a nation-wide AI program, with a suggested 5-years budget of >€800M (plus private-sector contributions of at least €600M). The proposal includes the creation of a national AI institute, investments in computing centers, optimization of data sources & processes in the public sector, and the extension of credit facilities to support R&D in the private sector. 🇮🇹 Wired published a recap of the proposal.
Partnerships & corporate development news
Bandyer [cb], a B2B video conferencing startup, 🇮🇹 was featured in a Wired article as a new Google technical partner, involved in improving a B2B version of the Google Glasses for fashion retailers.
Conio [cb], a cryptocurrency mobile wallet, 🇮🇹 joined the Nexi Open ecosystem. Crypto is an additional step closer to traditional banking services.
Echo Light Medical [cb], a med-tech startup that develops a non-invasive early-diagnosis tool for osteoporosis funded by Panakes Partners [cb] and CDP Venture Capital, continues its international expansion started in 2020 and announced the opening of a new US corporate office.
Google bets on Italy
Google announced a 5-year, $900M worth investment plan for Italy, to help digitizing Italian SMBs. The announcement came on twitter by Google & Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai. More info on Google's official blog.
What's going on in EU?
The new fund created by the European Commission for direct equity investments in European startups will start investing in September and expects to deploy €500M🤑 by year-end. The fund operates within the European Innovation Council and aims at deep technologies that are hardly investable by traditional investors. The EIC has already deployed several billion euros in grants within its startup funding programs (such as the EIC Accelerator).
Q2 just closed and @yanroux and @stefanobernardi published their quarterly analysis of new European VC funds. Read the Q2 issue here, or subscribe to receive the quarterly update directly in your inbox.
Meanwhile, Spotify (and, for a brief time, Adyen) broke through the $50bn market cap barrier. According to several commentators, this is news for European digital startups, at least in the last decade. Is this some indicator of a European catch-up or still another distortion of the crazy 2020 capital markets?
After 4 months of remote work from home, this week I moved my work location to the countryside to re-energize a bit - and, oh boy, I realized I needed it. Sometimes just changing the view out of the window helps the mind to connect in different ways.
As usual, feel free to send me feedback or to forward this newsletter to anyone who might find it useful.