Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hg Capital invests UK£7.1M in DADA S.p.A.

HgCapital today announces its investment in DADA S.p.A (DADA), a leading provider of online hosting services to SMEs in Italy, the UK and other regions across Europe.

Founded in 1995,
DADA is headquartered in Florence and has around 650,000 business and consumer customers across Europe. DADA’s digital services enable SMEs to administer their online presence: creating, managing and hosting domains and websites.

As well as operating in Italy under the brand,
DADA also operates in the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Portugal and the Netherlands under the Namesco, Register365, Nominalia and Amen brands, respectively.

The process follows an initial investment for a majority stake of 69.432% in
DADA, made by Hg’s technology team in October 2017 and acquired from a subsidiary of Orascom TMT Investments.
HgCapital has now successfully completed a tender offer on the remaining ordinary shares and will complete a public-to-private transaction of DADA from the Italian Stock Exchange. HgCapital is one of the leading investors in the tech sector in Europe, with over 25 years’ experience in the sector and 37 investments made in technology companies, bringing together a unique collection of networks and insight to create value and support business success.

Nick Jordan, Partner at
HgCapital said: “DADA is a leading business in this hosting sector which we have admired for a number of years. We are excited about the opportunity to work with the DADA management team and its employees to continue to develop their business in Italy and across Europe organically and through acquisitions. HgCapital have extensive experience of investing in SME-focused technology businesses and we are well placed to partner with DADA for the next phase of their growth.”

Enrico Grasso, Director at
HgCapital said: “We are delighted to partner with DADA’s talented management team to continue to support Italian SMEs in their journey to become more digitally enabled and increase their online visibility. This is Hg’s third investment in Italy over the last two years, testament to our continued interest in the region and Italian businesses. Italy has an important fabric of small and medium enterprises that have unique skills, know-how, and an opportunity to grow internationally.”
HgCapital were advised by Linklaters, Banca IMI and Deloitte.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Enterome Bioscience SA gains Principia SGR as New Venture Investor in €32M Series D Financing Round

 Milan, 4 January 2018. Principia SGR invests in Enterome Bioscience SA, a France, Paris-based cleanical-stage biotech company pioneering innovative therapies to treat microbiome-associated diseases with a focus on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and immuno-oncology (IO) indications, announcing its participation in the €32M Series D financing round

Principia SGR took part as new venture investor alongside global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb to the €32M Series D financing round together with all current investors - Seventure Partners, Health for Life Capital, LundbeckFonden Ventures, Omnes Capital, Nestlé Health Science.

The proceeds of the fundraising will be used primarily to progress two proof-of concept clinical trials of Enterome’s lead development programs, a Phase 2 study of the Company’s oral FimH blocker EB8018 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, and a Phase 1b study of EO2315, a novel immuno-oncology candidate, in patients with aggressive brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme).

In addition, Enterome will pursue the development of the next generation of its proprietary metagenomics drug discovery platform, reinforcing its leadership in the discovery and development of new therapeutic leads and targets for microbiome-associated diseases and expanding the reach of its technology platforms.

In conjunction with its equity financing, Enterome has entered into an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for access to a €40M loan facility to further support the acceleration of its pipeline and technology development.

Enterome’s EB8018 is a novel, first-in-class oral small molecule that is gut-restricted and minimally absorbed into the bloodstream. It represents a non-biologic, non-steroidal, non-immunomodulatory approach for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. EB8018 inhibits FimH-mediated adhesion of some pro-inflammatory bacteria invading the microbiome of Crohn’s patients, such as Adherent Invasive Escherichia coli and Klebsiella, to receptors in the gut wall, thereby reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines including TNF. EB8018 successfully completed a Phase 1 trial in 2017, demonstrating safety and minimal blood absorption.

In IO, EO2315 is the lead candidate originating from Enterome’s technology platform, which is being applied to discover novel bacterial antigens that display similarities with cancer antigens. Such bacterial antigens have been shown to trigger a robust immune response against host antigens specifically expressed in tumors in animal models, thus providing innovative solutions to making cancer cells the target of the adaptive immune system.

Enterome has already demonstrated that EO2315 generates a strong immune response against an undisclosed tumor target, resulting in potent tumor cell-killing ex vivo and controlled tumor growth in vivo when combined with a checkpoint inhibitor.

The method used by Enterome is based on mapping of total fecal bacterial gene content and functions, leading to the characterization of a personal metagenome (metagenotype®) potentially for each individual. Each metagenotype® is analyzed using proprietary algorithms (linking individual metagenotype® to associated phenotypes) allowing proper evaluation of personal risk of each subject to develop a wide variety of pathological conditions.

Enterome has built up a vertical R&D organization with in-depth expertise in clinical development: the Company has already prospectively enrolled more than 2000 patients in both the U.S. & EU, as well as having expertise in technological development (migration of large-scale sequencing towards commercial diagnostic platforms).

Pierre Belichard, Chief Executive Officer of Enterome, said: “We are very pleased to receive the funding and support from this group of current and new investors, who have recognized the potential, versatility, and uniqueness of our microbiome-derived drug discovery platform. The microbiome influences many areas of human disease through its effects on the immune system, and we believe that many new therapies will be discovered based on a greater understanding of its function. Enterome, which is at the forefront of this approach, is already developing two exciting programs based on this knowledge and this financing will allow us to progress these programs through the major inflection points of clinical proof of concept, and to expand our clinical work to additional inflammatory bowel diseases and oncology indications.”

Paolo Siviero, Head of Investments at Principia SGR, said: “We are very pleased to join a prestigious syndicate of venture and strategic investors – we strongly believe Enterome is geared to achieve the major clinical milestones that are ahead. We are convinced that the differentiated approach pioneered by Enterome in the field of immune diseases caused by defects of the gut microbiome, will lead to the successful development of a new therapeutic arsenal against immune-related disorders affecting millions of people around the world.”

Enterome’s innovative research in the gut microbiome and its role in the immune system across cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases offers a tremendous opportunity to discover differentiated therapies to help patients,” said Paul Biondi, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are excited to support their continued progress in microbiome-derived drug discovery and development.”

Enterome has been the first investment of our microbiome fund Health for Life Capital,” said Seventure Partners CEO Isabelle de Cremoux. “We are proud to see that our initial support is backed by a unique mix of strategic and finance investors to support Enterome’s pipeline at a very exciting point of its development.”

Supporting innovation and businesses is a priority of the European Union’s bank. It is our responsibility to create the optimal conditions for financing research in biotech companies, which is essential for developing new treatments,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “The gut microbiome is becoming a key strategic area in both medical and pharmaceutical worlds, so the EIB is very pleased to support Enterome’s innovation and development projects in such a strategic field. This is an innovative financing operation that will have a strong impact on the health and daily life of Europe’s citizens.”

Enterome has already collaborated with some of the most important companies in the sector, including Johnson & Johnson, Innovation / Janssen Biotech, Takeda, ABBvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Nestle Health Science, some of which have directly participated in this round investment.

About Enterome
Enterome was established in 2012 in Paris (France) to develop the discoveries made by the INRA metagenomic platform, and is backed by leading venture capital investors (Seventure Partners, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Health for Life Capital, Omnes Capital and Principia) and strategic investors (BMS, Nestlé Health Science, Shire & INRA Transfert).
and has already raised a €7.5M series A with three private equity funds (Seventure, Omnes Capital & Lundbeckfond Ventures) and two strategic investors (Danone & Shire).

Enterome develops science-based personalized medical tests and companion diagnostics based on profiling of the human gut microbiome with the goal to improve management of microbiome-related diseases, e.g., metabolic, gastrointestinal, and autoimmune. These chronic disorders depend on genetic susceptibility (polymorphisms of the human genome), but are also triggered by environmental factors where dysbiosis of the intestinal bacterial ecosystem (gut microbiome) is a major contributor.
About Principia SGR 

Principia SGR, founded in 2002, is one of the leading Italian venture capital operators.

The SGR currently manages 4 investment fund: Principia II, Principia III - Health, Principia IV - Alis and Principia V Utopia. The fund Principia III - Health, dedicated to Venture and Growth capital investments in the Healthcare sector, raised €206M million euros, and made 9 investments as of today deploying €80M. Principia IV - Alis is the fourth Fund of the SGR dedicated to the development of the excellence of Made in Italy, focused on fashion and design. The fund it is currently in fund raising. Principia Utopia is the most recent Fund launched by Principia with a target size of €70M million. The Fund has a very well-defined strategy: funding and supporting Life-Tech start ups for patents development in the first and second stage with management of the intellectual property. The focus will be on projects that develop molecules, curative devices and advanced diagnostics for prevention.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb 

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. 

About the European Investment Bank Group 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU bank, and together with the European Investment Fund (EIF) forms the EIB Group. Thanks to its reliable expertise and the financial attractiveness of its AAA rating, the EIB Group has doubled the volume of its activities in France since 2012 (reaching EUR 9.3bn in 2016), not only supporting SMEs and innovation but also financing investment in strategic sectors such as climate action, energy, healthcare, education for young people and training facilities. 

About Health For Life Capital™ 

Seventure Partners launched Health for Life Capital™, the first venture capital fund focused mainly on investments in the microbiome, food and nutrition space. Europe is the primary focus of the fund, but it also invests in North America, Israel and Asia. The €160M fund attracted strategic investments from prestigious organizations including Danone, Novartis, Tereos, Tornier, Lesaffre and Bel, as well as financial institutions and entrepreneurs. Health for Life Capital™ is managed by Seventure's Life sciences team.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Italian Angels for Growth and SICI - Fondo Toscana Innovazione exit WinMedical to AbMedica

Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), the leading Italian business angel network specialized in seed investing in technology startups, and SICI - Fondo Toscana Innovazione (SICI), have exited WinMedical, a company specialized in the development of wearable medical devices, to ab medicaItaly's leading company in the production and distribution of medical technologies, as well as reference point for robotics surgery - acquires WinMedical,  

ab medica was founded in 1984 by Aldo Cerruti, still president of the company. Since January 2015 Ab medica is part of an holding of companies oriented to innovation in medicine, together with Tlc (telecommunications and systems for telemedicine), Genomnia (genomics and bioinformatics), Medical Labs (production of advanced medical devices), Pacinotti (commercialization of medical devices), Telbios (remote assistance, telecardiology, home telemonitoring) and Rizzoli Orthopedic Workshops (prostheses, orthopedic equipment, aids and hospital equipment).

Win Medical was founded in 2009 as a spin off of the Sant'Anna School of Pisa and has operated in recent years from the site hosted at the Technological Pole of Navacchio. The shareholders IAG and SICI there were some members of Italian Angels for Growth, the leading Italian business angel network specialized in seed investing in technology startups, and Sici - Fondo Toscana Innovazione, have since 2011 helped finance the company's growth with an investment of €1M.

Thanks to the two shareholders who immediately believed in the company, WinMedical was able to develop the WinPack platform on the Italian market.

WinPack is the modular platform designed for continuous and real-time monitoring of the most important vital parameters. Thanks to the modularity and self-configurability that characterize it, WinPack allows to connect the various components in "plug & play" mode, monitoring 5-lead ECG, Respiratory Rate, 2-lead ECG, Heart Rate, Oxygen Saturation, Temperature, Posture and Non-invasive and continuous blood pressure.

The extreme versatility of this platform makes it adaptable to the needs of multiple departments, from general medicine to hematology, through radiotherapy, digestive and thoracic endoscopy, radiology, surgery, long-term care, pneumology, onco Pediatric hematology, up to the emergency room and geriatrics. Where low and medium intensity care is provided, WinPack proves to be extremely valuable for a more efficient reorganization of departments. As well as in hospitals, this tool allows doctors and nurses to monitor patients at home and on their own via PC, Laptop, Tablet and Smartphone.

"Consistent with the commitment that has always guided us in improving the quality of care and life of patients - says Aldo Cerruti, President of Ab Medica - welcoming in our group WinMedical is the answer to the desire to expand, improve and intensify the services of telemedicine, to ferry health towards the future of a 2.0 "medicine

Precisely in view of a redefinition of a Health Service that must evolve and change to respond to the needs of the person the company promotes and supports a new paradigm in medical care, an unprecedented course that finds in modular medical technology, wireless and wearable the key factor to address future challenges, including the contrast of clinical risk, better prevention of adverse events and consequently the reduction of costs for the health system, all to the benefit of a faster recovery and discharge of the patient.

Once the exit has been completed (the value of the transaction has not been disclosed), the medium-term objective for the company is now to become, within three years, the reference supplier in Europe in the field of medical devices to support clinical risk through the WinPack proprietary platform: WinMedical is experiencing this acquisition as a fundamental step that will guarantee it to face the challenges that global markets impose to medium-small Italian companies, A path is thus completed within the technological transfer system promoted by Regione Toscana, and WinMedical consolidates itself in the most great Italian Biomedical group confirming that processes of open-innovation, industrialization and commercialization of new technologies are also possible in Italy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hephaestus Ventures launches HV labs startup accelerator and starts €100M venture fund

Hephaestus Ventures is a private equity fund supporting the growth of Corporate Venture Capital through the creation of an accelerator in Milan called HV Labs to support the expansion abroad of Italian Companies towards Brazil, United States, China, South Africa, Russia and India, United Kingdom and Germany on projects of Open Innovation and Digital Trasformation in these verticals: FinTech, Energy, Smart Mobility , Digital Health.

Trough the creation of the accelerator for digital startups Hephaestus Ventures will move from a private equity fund to be a seed venture company and will support all the corporate companies that have plans to expand to emerging markets and the United States and all those open innovation projects that will lead to the creation of corporate spin-offs and will be a fund of position from seed to series A to favor later stage and acceleration of the startups up to the support towards the internationalisation towards the reference markets that the company is approaching such us the United States, BRICS, and Germany and England in Europe. Currently it is the only one of its kind on the Italian market. Competitor is the Dutch Startupbootcamp. The fund targets to raise €100M of private capital in 7 years. It won't collaborate with public funds or public fundings either as regards fund raising or for investment with portfolio startups. It is planned to start mid-2018 with 8 startups and to reach about 25 startups by mid-2020.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Tages Capital SGR acquires 51MW of operating solar plants from Maccaferri Industrial Group for its Tages Helios Fund

Milano, 22 dicembre 2017 - Tages Capital SGR announced that the Tages Helios fund has subscribed a contract with SECI S.p.A. (Maccaferri Industrial Group) for the acquisition of a portfolio of 35 solar plants located in Puglia, Sicily and Emilia Romagna with an overall installed capacity of 51MW.
The portfolio's plants use primary technologies and were built directly by Enerray, a subsidiary of SECI Energia - the sector leader in Italy.
With this acquisition, the portfolio held by Tages Helios, with an installed capacity of 208 MW, generates a total of approximately 290 GWh per year, an amount of energy sufficient to meet the electricity needs of over 100 thousand households and allows about 152 thousand tonnes of annual CO2 emissions savings into the atmosphere.

Tages Helios Investment Fund is the first renewable energy fund launched by Tages Capital SGR, focused exclusively on the Italian photovoltaic sector and which has raised a total of €253M as of 22 June 2017 (final closing date).  Leading insurance companies (75%), pension and social security funds (10%), banking foundations (7%), banking institutions (3%), qualified private investors (3%) and Tages management (2%) constitute the final investor base breakdown. New subscribers included Aviva, an international insurance group, as well as Equiter, an important Italian investor in real estate infrastructure assets and part of the Intesa SanPaolo Group.

According to the consolidated operating plan, the plants will be managed by Delos Power, a partnership between Tages Helios and Renam – a leading Italian player in the management of renewable energy plants, with more than 400 MW under management – established for the purpose of managing plants acquired by the Fund. Operations and maintenance activities will continue to be carried out by Enerray.

With this transaction, the Tages Helios portfolio reaches the size of 208 MW, confirming the fund as the third operator on the Italian market.

Tages Capital SGR was assisted in the transaction by the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, by Moroni & Partners for technical due diligence and by PwC for accounting and financial aspects.
The Maccaferri Industrial Group was assisted by Legance Avvocati Associati as legal advisor, REA reliable energy advisors as technical advisor and by Ernst & Young Italia for  theaccounting and financial aspects.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

UniCredit SpA and Anthemis Group launch €200M Fintech Fund named UniCredit Evo Investment Partnership

Milan, 23 March 2016UniCredit, one of the leading European commercial banks, and Anthemis Group, the leading financial services technology venture and advisory firm, today announced a new joint investment venture. UniCredit evo (equity venture opportunities) will be a dedicated initiative focused exclusively on identifying and investing in best-in-class financial technology startups. With an initial capital commitment of €200M from UniCredit, the initiative will target mid stage startups and follow-on investments in more mature and established FinTech businesses, as well as early stage digitally native financial services startups working on more pioneering solutions.

The investment partnership with Anthemis will help UniCredit to accelerate the digitalization of its banking group. UniCredit's aim is to collaborate with emerging players within the FinTech ecosystem and explore, sustain and develop cutting-edge technologies and solutions.

Through the investment partnership, UniCredit and Anthemis will cover the entire lifecycle of emerging FinTech companies, with a primary focus on Europe and North America. The initiative will span across the early startup ideas phase to maturity and apply to different fields of retail banking and consumer finance; investment and corporate banking; wealth and asset management; capital markets and trading; payments and financial data; technology and infrastructure.

The UniCredit Evo Investment Partnership will be directly supervised and managed by two dedicated governing bodies: a Management Board comprised of UniCredit and Anthemis representatives working together to identify the most relevant areas of focus, and an Investment Committee, composed of UniCredit and Anthemis representatives responsible for sourcing, evaluating and finalizing investment opportunities.

Within UniCredit, this joint venture will be led by the innovation team, under the remit of banking group Chief Operating Officer and Deputy General Manager Paolo Fiorentino. At Anthemis, Nadeem Shaikh, Founder and CEO of Anthemis Group, will oversee the partnership.

Mr Fiorentino noted: "Thanks to this partnership, we are ramping up our digital transformation, building a new business model to maximize the combined strengths of traditional market players and newcomers. As a bank we have the resources, financial expertise and large customer base that can complement startup innovation. This will in turn boost our digitalization, enabling us to better adapt to the ever-evolving needs of our customers. Today, Anthemis becomes a key partner on this journey. By leveraging their wide expertise, Anthemis will help us identify top class players and opportunities that will drive innovation and ultimately help us to better serve our customers."

Nadeem Shaikh, Founder and CEO of Anthemis Group said: "We are delighted to be putting all of the Anthemis assets - a powerful global ecosystem, deep strategic insight and extensive investment experience - to work in the Investment Partnership. UniCredit has proved to be a dynamic partner with a proud history of innovation, and this partnership will allow them unlock further potential in the realm of digitally native financial services."

Friday, March 11, 2016

Wise SGR closes its Wisequity IV Fund at hard cap of €215M

Milan, 11 March 2016 - Wise SGR's Board of Directors announced morning the closing of its Wisequity IV Fund for total commitments of €215M equating to the hard cap of the Fund.

The fundraising was completed just in 6 months following strong demand from both existing and new investors. Italian institutional investors accounted for approximately 25% of the total commitments, while international investors, both from the US and Europe, represented 60% of total commitments, with the balance from the management team and HNWIs.

Wisequity IV will continue Wisequity III’s strategy targeting transformational investments in the Italian lower-mid market, with a particular focus on export oriented leaders in BtoB niches. Wisequity III, a 2011 vintage fund of €181.5M, is currently 84% invested across 8 portfolio companies. The fund’s DPI at 31 December 2015 was in excess of 90% following the first two portfolio exits in Q4/2015, generating over 4,5x gross MoC.

Wise SGR, winner of “Italian best LBO fund” at the 2015 Private Equity Exchange, is a fully independent Private Equity manager, which has been investing in the Italian lower mid-market since 2000. The management company is owned by its five partners who are all focused on generating, executing and building value in portfolio transactions, with the help of seven additional directors, making the Wise team one of the largest, both in terms of partners and total team members, in the Italian Private Equity arena. Wise SGR was advised by London based Rede Partners, a leading independent fundraising and secondary advisor to the private equity industry. Italian Law Firm Legance acted as principal legal counsel and Proskauer Rose LLP acted as international legal counsel.

Founded in 2000 by Paolo Gambarini and Michele Semenzano,  Wise SGR specializes in the management of Private Equity closed-end funds investing in small and medium sized companies, with a special focus on Italy.

Wise SGR S.p.A. (, founded in 2000 by Paolo Gambarini and Michele Semenzato, specializes in the management of Private Equity closed-end funds, investing in small and medium-sized companies, with a special focus on Italy. The funds managed by Wise are typically involved in leverage buy-out and capital increase transactions, dedicated to companies that are leaders in their niche markets. The two major objectives are to lead “build-up” transactions, in order to enhance competitiveness and profitability, and to push the international development. 

Wise SGR specializes in the management of Private Equity closed-end funds investing in small and medium-sized companies, with a special focus on Italy. Over the years, Wise SGR has achieved a unique position in Italy’s Private Equity sector thanks to its management approach that considers its role not only as a supplier of capital, but also as a solid partner with whom to develop and build-up the company in accordance with the requirements of the shareholders and the management.

The Wise SGR team provides support based on a variety of experience and knowledge acquired in the fields of strategic consultancy, investment banking and company management. The skills and know-how cover investment selection, assessment, negotiation and investment structure, as well as strategic and operating consulting services specific to the individual business.

Wise Funds invests in Italian small and medium-sized companies whit a sales turnover ranging between €20M and €100M. Special attention is given to the manufacturing and services market and to the sector of goods for manufacturing processes. Wise makes two main types of investments: Leveraged Buy Out (acquisition of majority holdings, via leverage) and Development Capital (subscriptions to increase capital stock in companies with high growth potential). The average investment size is €5M-€25M in terms of equity value, and €10M-€75M in terms of Enterprise Value.

Wise SGR which is owned by the management, received in June 2003 the authorization by the Bank of Italy to operate as a Management Company for pooled savings. Wise SGR currently manages two private equity funds: 
  • Wisequity II & Macchine Italia (2005) that with over €170M commitment closed the investment period in July 2010. The fund was launched in December 2005 by Wise Venture Sgr of which Banca Popolare di Milano became, along with De Agostini and Federmacchine (the national federation  of associations of manufacturers of capital goods), major investor. Banca Popolare di Milano subscribed via its private equity arm BPM Private Equity Sgr €40M in Wisequity II & Macchine Italia and after having received the needed regulatory authorizations it saw the integration between the two asset management companies, namely the merger of BPM Private Equity SGR into Wise Venture SGR. Bpm has been a shareholder in Wise sgr since September 2005 when Wise sgr acquired Banca Popolare di Milano’s private equity assets and incorporated the bank’s private equity firm, BPM Private Equity sgr. The deal also provided that Bpm committed €40M in Wisequity II Fund, becoming one of the sponsors of the fund together with gruppo De Agostini and Federmacchine (Federazione Nazionale delle associazioni di beni strumentali) - see here Bpm’s FY 2005 Consolidated Statement – Report of the directors at page 9 -. Banca Popolare di Milano sold its 20% stake in the shareholders capital of italian mid-market private equity firm Wise sgr  to Wise sgr’s managers who already held the remaining 80% stake. Wise SGR is now completely independent and controlled by its managers: Paolo Gambarini and Michele Semenzato own a 20% stake each; Valentina Franceschini and Stefano Ghetti own an 8% each; Fabrizio Medea and Roberto Saviane own a 14% each; while Wise sgr holds treasury shares for the remaining 16% of the capital.
  • Wisequity III (2010) - the third close-ended fund promoted by Wise SGR - which fundraising closed in September 2011 with over €180M commitment six investments in its portfolio, including Alpitour, Biolchim, Colcom Group, Primat, NTC-PH&T and Controls. The fund specializes in investments in expansion and middle market. The firm concentrates on Italian family-owned businesses experiencing succession issues, as well as on domestic firms within fragmented industries which would benefit from consolidation. It targets machinery, logistics, business services and media industries. It prefers to invest in generational transfer and on the processes of industrial merger and the strategies of geographic or product expansion. The fund seeks to invest between €8M and €30M in companies with sales between €20M and €80M and enterprise values from €20M to €50M.
The first fund of the Wise SGR, Wisequity I (2001) had over €100M commitment. Wise sgr is now fundraising for its first private debt fund focused on Italy's SMEs debt, called Wise Private Debt, which was launched in December 2013 by the management team and has a fundraising target of €250M It will mainly invest in senior bonds that will be allowed to be converted into equity when the issuer were to go into default. The bonds will be exempt from other guarantees, will have a duration of between 18 months and 5-6 years and will be issued for amounts ranging between €10M-€20M. The fund will run for seven years and the yield-target for investors, net of commissions and fees is more than 8%. The bonds, which will be issued by companies with an EBITDA of between €3M-€15M, will not be listed on a regulated market and will be unrated, but will directly Wise SGR to evaluate the creditworthiness of issuers on the basis of a rating model developed internally. it will be also Wise to always act as arranger for the structuring of transactions, so as to minimize the costs of issuing companies, which will be selected for the rest following the classic rules of the due diligence conducted by private equity firms.

The fund will remain in fundraising for 18 months, and after reaching the first closing at €50M it will start to invest. The new vehicle will not invest in companies in which Wise's private equity funds have invested or will invest in order to conflicts of interest.

Friday, February 19, 2016

United Ventures becomes SICAF authorized by Bankitalia: Closing at €70M

One of the first SICAF funds in Italy, following the introduction into the Italian legal order allowing the establishment of alternative closed investment funds in corporate form, has born. United Ventures obtained by the Bank of Italy on 17 February 2016 the authorization for the establishment of an asset management company, i.e. United Ventures One SpA to operate as hetero-managed venture capital SICAF (investment company with fixed capital) managed by United Ventures Spa, that as advisor of the holding, becomes asset management company authorized by Bankitalia and recognized as manager by EUVeCa.

 United Ventures, born as an investment holding company and turned into SICAF following the implementation of the AIFMD in Italy, was founded in 2013 by Paolo Gesess and Massimiliano Magrini respectively founders of JV Capital and Annapurna Ventures, the company had launched the fund raising in early 2013, thanks to the sponsorship of the Italian Investment Fund, which invested the first €10M, contributing for one third of the first closing held in March 2013 having reached €30M. In November 2014 it was announced the first closing at €60M. The company and makes early stage investments in Venture Capital, with a focus on digital technologies. Following the completion of the subscription of a capital increase that will occur in the coming days by leading institutional investors, its assets under management will amount to over €70M.

In its new role, the venture capital vehicle can continue to operate on the market as required by the new European Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), which entered into force on 21 July 2011. The law introduced a number of measures to create a European internal market for alternative investment fund managers by defining a framework for the authorization, ongoing operation and transparency of the funds.

The transposition of legislation allows to United Ventures to operate in an international market positioning itself as a leading player by raising capital from both Italian and foreign investors because it is subject to an international legislation that equalizes and unifies all the other European players in the sector.

For Italy it is a significant change because it marks the introduction of a new investment vehicle model alongside that of SGR (asset management company) and the classic Club deal (private savers communities that invest using ad-hoc platforms).

The authorization process that ended with the authorization given by the Bank of Italy to United Ventures also enhances the work of internationalization that the fund management company, United Ventures Spa, has so far constructed by raising €70M in capital and investing in 16 companies (including Appsbuilder, Badseed, BuzzMyVideos, Cloud4Wi, FaceIt, Halldis, Kuldat, 20Lines, Marinanow, Meritocracy, Moneyfarm, Musixmatch, Paperlit and Lovethesign) that starting from Italy are able to operate globally. Investment targets are companies based in Italy but also in the rest of Europe operating in the areas of digital technologies, software, mobile, e-commerce and gaming.

The goal of United Ventures is indeed to support active entrepreneurs in the software industry and digital technologies in the growth and internationalization process, operating in the world's major technological ecosystems thanks to a network of co-investors located in global innovation centers.

Studio Craca Di Carlo Guffanti Pisapia Tatozzi & Associates (5Lex) has assisted United Ventures in obtaining authorization. The team was led by Francesco Di Carlo and composed of Giorgio Bobba.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Smartika completes €4.52M capital increase led and structured by Hamilton Ventures

Milan, January 29, 2016 - The italian Social Lending platform Smartika has announced a capital increase of €4.52M. The deal, already approved by the Bank of Italy, has been coordinated and structured by London-based Hamilton Ventures, a merchant banking boutique focused on investment in Tech and FinTech sectors and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The new resources will be used for investments necessary for growth and to consolidate the leadership of
Smartika in the Peer to Peer Lending in Italy, the alternative way to borrow and lend money between individuals.
"New forms of economy and finance, based on the combination of Internet-sharing, are taking place in our country and, at a time where personal loans amount to €25 billion, of which €1.3 billion is granted online, thinking that the total throughput of the private loans will expand in the next 2-3 years to €300M is more than realistic" said Maurizio Sella, Chairman of
The capital increase was also the occasion for the definition and formalization of the new Governance of Smartika:
Maurizio Sella as Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Luciano Manzo as CEO.Directors: Tommaso Pompei, Gustavo Perrotta, Pierluigi Loy Donà, Stephen Andrew Fitch, Pierpaolo Guzzo.
"The new resources that Smartika will benefit from, thanks to this important capital increase" adds CEO Luciano Manzo "are intended to strengthen the leadership of our platform for
private loans thus strengthening its organizational structure, in particular by strengthening the IT, the Credit, Communications and Marketing departments. "
"A very interesting and certainly 'disruptive' reality in the financial sector, with a management team with proven experience. With great enthusiasm, we stand alongside a company in constant growth and with important perspectives, "said Gustavo Perrotta, CEO of
Hamilton Ventures. 
Smartika announces so the beginning of a new course, which aims to disseminate and promote in Italy the culture of Social Lending, i.e. a step towards abandoning traditional forms of intermediation and in pursuit of greater efficiency and convenience for all parties involved .
Smartika SpA Spa, a company founded in 2012 with headquarters in Milan, works in Social Lending as a Payment Institution regulated and supervised by the Bank of Italy, as financial operator authorized pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 11/2010 to provide payment services, disbursed on education of providers and the applicants.
Hamilton Venture Capital Ltd ("Hamilton Ventures"), founded in 2009 and based in London, is an independent merchant banking boutique active mainly in the Technology and FinTech space. The company, regulated by the FCA, is led by Gustavo Perrotta and Sir Peter Middleton and offers privileged access to investment opportunities internationally.More information about it on