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The week in Italian startups - Issue #32
CDP launches a new accelerators platform
If you were worried that Cassa Depositi e Prestiti would not be in the news this week... fear no more! 🇮🇹CDP announced the launch of the new "Mobility and Digital Acceleration" fund, a €20M investment fund, and the new "Motor Valley Accelerator", a program developed in partnership with Plug And Play and dedicated to mobility & automotive (note: the Motor Valley is an area in Emilia Romagna hosting companies such as Ferrari, Ducati, and Maserati).
This accelerator is the first of a network of ~20 to be launched by the end of 2021, focused on strategic sectors for the Italian economy.
An interview with Francesco Cerruti
Francesco Cerruti is the General Director of VC Hub Italia, a recently launched association of VCs, angels, and startups. Ilaria Cavalleri interviewed Francesco on her ScaleUpItaly blog, where he shares his background and views about the current scenario in Italy. (note: VC Hub is a supporter of this newsletter).
Nexi [NEXI.MI] recently made headlines for the merger with SIA (we talked about it in issue #28). It are not slowing down: Reuters reported about exclusive merger talks between Nexi and Nets, a Danish digital payments provider with a strong presence in Northern Europe. In the next few days, the parties are expected to make or break a deal worth $8Bn.
Google VS the Italian Antitrust
Finding product/market fit inside a venture fund
Andrea Di Pietrantonio, an Italian investor member of Finnish VC Inventure [cb], published a post about his experience of setting up a portfolio operations platform in his firm and being helpful to entrepreneurs.
European VC & PE
Invest Europe published its half-year report on the private equity & venture capital markets in Europe. Preliminary data says that fundraising is in line with previous years, investments are down year-on-year (-17%), divestments are extremely lower (-49% in €, -37% in #). The report can be freely downloaded from the website.
This issue is a bit shorter than usual: it was a busy week for me, and few investments were announced. Italy is also going back into lockdown, like other countries in Europe, and this will likely create adverse effects on new investments as the economy freezes again. The Invest Europe report provides a clear view about the effects of lockdown during the first wave, and I'm not bullish about the second one. Along this line, A Sifted article provides an analysis of the natural selection effect that Covid-19 might have on VCs in Europe. If this effect on younger firms is confirmed, it might be even worse for a country with a relatively "inexperienced" VC ecosystem such as Italy. Happy to get your view on this - just hit reply and let me know!