The week in Italian startups - Issue #21
Milan-based InnovHeart, the developer of a "novel Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) system for the treatment of mitral valve disease", raised €20M in a Series B round from a syndicate of investors including Genextra [cb], Panakes Partners [cb], CDP Venture Capital and Indaco Venture Partners [cb].
Milan and New York-based Artemest [cb], a luxury e-commerce for home-decor and jewelry, raised $5M in a new round of funding by existing investor Nuo Capital and new investors Olma Luxury Holdings and the Swiss holding Brahma.
Milan-based WeSchool [cb], an online school management platform, raised €6.4M from a syndicate of investors including P101 [cb], CDP Venture Capital, Tim Ventures [cb] (the CVC arm of TIM) , Club Digitale and Club Italia Investimenti 2.
London-based GreyParrot [cb], an AI company focusing on waste management, raised $1.1M from 360 Capital Partners [cb] and the CVC arm of A2A, an Italian utility company. This round comes shortly after £2.8M raised from SpeedInvest, back in May.
Progress Tech Transfer, a deep-tech fund, announced the participation in a €2M investment in HT Materials Science, a company developing "nano-enabled heat transfer products for the HVAC market".
Kampaay [cb], a digital events management platform, announced a $215K angel round from a syndicate of private investors.
New York-based Helbiz [cb], one of the leading micro-mobility providers founded by Salvatore Palella, announced the first step in the acquisition of Milan-based MiMoto [cb].
This week in 🇮🇹 AI
Expert System [EXSY:IM] is a "first wave" AI Italian enterprise, listed on the Italian Stock Exchange since 2014. The company has just published an interesting couple of announcements: first, the release of an API for natural language processing (developers can try it for free at developer.expert.ai), then a new $29.4M equity raise to support a more aggressive product and market expansion strategy.
Speaking of AI, Translated [cb] will join forces with Fondazione Bruno Kessler and PerVoice to develop a real-time speech translation AI service to the European Parliament.
European capital of innovation
I was not aware of it, but the European Commission runs a contest to elect the European Capital of Innovation. The EC has been running it since 2014 - past winners include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Athens, and Nantes. (Yes, one is missing: no contest in 2015, apparently).
They are currently down to the 12 finalists for 2020. Milan is the only Italian city on the list.
If you are asking yourself "why?!" (as I did): the winning city gets the glory and a €1M contribution, while the five runner-ups get €100K each. A jury of experts will decide the final ranking.
Interesting way to distribute EU resources to public administrations 🤔 could it be scaled beyond a city contest? "Show me your results and we'll give you resources?".
The NYPost reports that an old Italian tradition (?) dating back to the plague in the XVII century has returned: wine windows. If you are wondering why I'm bringing this one up, I have been following the heating up of the competition among Italian wine startups, and I hope that they read this and put wine windows 2.0 on their strategic roadmap.🍷😄
I have recently discovered Michael Dempsey, a partner at Compound, and his blog - he is an excellent essay writer and I suggest taking a look at On Inflection Points.
I'm taking a couple of weeks off, the newsletter (and myself) will be back at the end of the month. Thank you to the readers who took the time to send articles and notes. Please continue doing so 🙏🏻..