The week in Italian startups - Issue #31
Boom [cb], the "Amazon of photography", raised $7M in a Series A round led by United Ventures [cb].
Buzzoole [cb], an influencer marketing platform,🇮🇹raised €5M from a syndicate of investors including CDP Venture Capital [cb], Vertis SGR [cb], and others.
Heaxel, a medical device company developing robots for neurorehabilitation, 🇮🇹raised €2.2M from existing investor Vertis SGR [cb].
The Portal, an immersive VR gaming company, 🇮🇹 raised €428K from Auriga [cb], a banking software company, and CDP Venture Capital [cb].
IHeartMedia [cb, NASDAQ: IHRT] acquired VoxNest, the parent company of Spreaker [cb]. Terms undisclosed.
Tinexta [cb] created a new cybersecurity business unit by acquiring the R&D unit of Corvallis and two companies, Yoroi and Swascan [cb]. Tinexta invested €47.8M in the operation.
Websolute [cb, WEB.MI], a digital agency listed on the AIM market, 🇮🇹 acquired 51% of AI startup W-Mind in what appears an acqui-hire operation.
Fresch capital for blockchain startups
Albemarle Asset Management joined forces with Eterna Capital [cb] and 🇮🇹 launched Eterna Blockchain II, an early-stage fund specialized in blockchain startups. In case you are curious, the fund supplement is available online.
A new report on European startups
Last week I shared a McKinsey report comparing European startups to the other major ecosystems. This week, Dealroom and Index Ventures published a new report, Can Europe become the most entrepreneurial continent? The bottom line: Europe is growing and is finally taking a relevant role in the world, but the question that opens the report remains still unanswered.
There was a time when WeWork was one of the craziest things happening out there. It feels it was ages ago. Well, amidst the latest news surrounding the company (e.g. a new IPO - Trying to recover cash by taking a hard stance against nonpaying members - Being involved in a crazy litigation with Softbank) there was an unexpected one: WeWork is opening two more buildings in Milan (paywall), reaching 5 locations in the city by mid-2021. A considerable bet on the comeback of co-working next year.
World of Corporate Venturing
The Global Corporate Venturing initiative launched a new survey to collect data about corporate venture capital for its World of Corporate Venturing 2021 report. If you work in a corporate VC, feel free to complete the survey here. Last year’s report can be downloaded from here (courtesy of James Mawson).
Is AI coming after VC?
A new paper by Andre Retterath benchmarks the screening capabilities of a pool of VCs with the XGBoost algorithm. Read the post to find the answer to the question in the title 😇.
That's all for the week. Thank you to all the readers who reached out with ideas or just to say hi 👋🏻. Please don't stop!
Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask.
Have a great week,