The week in Italian startups - Issue #44
Kong, a US-based API&cloud company, raised $100m. Kong was founded by Augusto Marietti and Marco Palladino, two Italian entrepreneurs who moved to Silicon Valley in 2010 to found the startup.
Digitazon, a marketplace for digital freelancers,🇮🇹 raised €420k from CDP Venture Capital and a pool of angels.
This week, the action was all abroad
OCS, an Italian IT & technology company specialized in financial services, 🇮🇹 acquired Spanish company TalentoMobile (here a PR in English).
AurorA Science, an Italian biotech investment company, joined the Series B round opened by InteRNA Technologies, a Dutch clinical-stage biotech company.
HTH, a Milan-based life-sciences investment holding, 🇮🇹 announced it joined the €70m Series C round raised by Belgian pharmaceutical company Univercells.
Archer, a startup developing electric VTOL air taxis, will go public by merging with a SPAC. Among the investors, Stellantis and Exor (the holding firm of the Agnelli family).
An index on European crowdfunded companies
Opstart, one of the largest equity crowdfunding platforms in Italy by capital raised,🇮🇹 entered into an agreement with 4Aim Sicaf, a public investment vehicle focused on AIM-listed companies (AIM is the junior Italian stock exchange). The Sicaf will have the right to invest up to €100k in each startup raising capital on Opstart, with no obligation.
This agreement will become effective as 4Aim completes the creation of a dedicated compartment, with €5m under management, that will invest only in companies raising capital using European crowdfunding platforms.
I talked a few weeks back about how asset managers are building investment products dedicated to retail investors, offering them access to cool deals.
This is a new step: cool deals on crowdfunding platforms are accessible to anybody by definition, but building a well-distributed and diversified portfolio is cumbersome and takes time. 4Aim offers to take the burden off the hands of its investors and build a portfolio for them.
There is also a second, interesting, side-effect: the compartment would be a publicly-traded index of crowdfunded European startups. Not a pure index (4aim chooses which companies join it), but still some kind of indicator that the market can use to evaluate the sector. As I said: interesting!
Are there any other public investors doing something similar? Let me know!
Be careful with your backups
Vintag is a startup offering a mobile-only marketplace to buy and sell vintage clothes. Or, maybe, I should write Vintag was a startup. 🇮🇹According to a recent blog post on their website, the founders had to shut down the company because of a complete loss of data (including backups), which made it impossible for them to restore the service. The drama has been unfolding for a few weeks (🇮🇹from January 25th, at least).
The lesson that we all should learn is: be extremely careful with your backups.
Good luck to the team.
This is it for this issue. Thank you for getting this far. Have a great week!