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The week in Italian startups - Issue #34
Satispay [cb], a mobile payments provider, raised €93M in a Series C round from investors including Square, Tencent, LGT Lightstone [cb], and TIM Ventures [cb] (the CVC arm of TIM, a telco). The reported post-money was €248M. Fun fact: all capital raised by Italian fintech startups in 2019 amounted to €250M (according to the EY report we met in issue #25).
Two weeks ago I reported about the ongoing talks between Italy's Nexi and Denmark's Nets: the two found an agreement and Nexi announced it will acquire Nets in an all-share deal worth €7.8Bn. The resulting company will be one of the global champions in the digital payments industry.
Lanieri [cb], a "digital tailor" startup with 48% of its revenues coming from outside of Italy, 🇮🇹 was acquired by Gruppo Reda for an undisclosed amount. Reda is a €120M+ group based in Biella and specialized in high-quality textiles. According 🇮🇹 to this article, Lanieri had a €4.9M turnover in 2019.
"Surging homegrown talent and VC spark Italy's tech renaissance"
Mike Butcher authored a long article about the current and future state of startups in Italy, including interviews with senior members of the most prominent Italian VC funds. Interesting reading on Techcrunch - partially behind a paywall.
A new fund in CDP portfolio
The fund was announced in August but got stuck in the approval process. It will invest up to €1M in each target company, by matching private investors in a 4:1 ratio (i.e. the fund can invest up to 4 euros for each 1 euro of private capital).
Professional investors (including non-Italian investors) will be required to register on a dedicated website in order to qualify for this investment scheme - I will share the URL as soon as it is made public.
Fireside chat with Enrico Resmini, head of CDP Venture Capital
Speaking of CDP, Resmini and Martìn Varsavsky, a serial entrepreneur and investor, will discuss the outlook of venture capital on Tuesday 25th, at 6 pm CET. You can signup for free here.
The App Store becomes small-biz friendly(-ier)
Apple announced it is planning to lower its 30% fee to 15% for small developers (i.e. those earning <$1M in annual revenues).
The interesting bit in the article is the (reportedly) extremely skewed distribution of revenues on the store: 98% of publishers would be eligible for the cut, but in aggregate they make up for only 5% of total revenues. Another instance of power laws in the digital world?
If this is true, Apple is making headlines but not so much putting a dent in its bottom line 🙄.
On the other side, a sudden 15% surge in marginality can be extremely important for early-stage startups - I for one welcome the decision 💪🏻.
Only for SaaS startups
If you run a SaaS company (or invest in them), then the Openview 2020 SaaS expansion benchmarks is a good reading to compare with your peers' metrics. This edition appears to be in a love/hate relationship with Product Led Growth - this is the buzzword you should care about in 2020!
As I mentioned in the introduction, what a week! FintechItaly is alive and kicking.
As always, thank you for your feedback and links. Keep pushing!
Take care, and stay safe,