Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Innogest SGR and Principia SGR on Fund Raising Tour to back Italy's Dynamic Startup Ecosystem

Innogest SGR and Principia SGR two of Italy's leading VC-funds have recently announced the preparation of three new VC funds. The Turin (Innogest) and Milan (Principia) based seed investors after a very exciting and successful 2012 on the investment side, with respectively 3 (Innogest) and 12 (Principia) operations of seed and venture capital financing breakthrough ides and very promising Italian startups of now announced the launch of their new VC funds.

Innogest SGR has announced this week the first closing of the new fund, Innogest Capital II, at roughly 50 Mln Euro.  With the first closing of its second fund, Innogest SGR's total capital under management amounts now to 140 Mln Euro , confirming Innogest s position as the leading italian venture capital firm. Oh the other side Principia SGR revealed to the magazine MF-Milano Finanza that it is preparing the launch of two new venture capital funds for the development of innovative companies in the digital space, one dedicated to life sciences and the other conceived for the made in Italy (with exception for the food industry). Target of the funds raising are very ambitious: we talk about 100 Mln Euro each.
Michele Costabile, Vicepresident at Principia SGR, interviewed by BeBeez told that on March 30th, 2013 Principia II closed its investment period, having fully invested its financial endowment, at the net of paid and due fees. Overall, the fund has invested 53 Mln Euro in 30 different operations of seed and expansion capital in southern Italy.

The most important investment closed by Principia SGR was
just announced at the beginning of this month when the company revealed that it co-invested together with Vertis Venture in JUSP Spa a Milan-based startup operating in the mobile POS hot market, on a $ 6 million (€ 4.5 mln) equity round. The investment in JUSP Spa represent one of the biggest rounds ever made by VC funds in italian startups.

At this point Principia II is getting ready to bring its portfolio companies to funding rounds before international operators. To further back its efforts during the fund raising process,  Principia SGR appointed Giuseppe Lombardi, currently CEO of Banca Popolare di Sviluppo (a Naples-based Cooperative Bank for Development), as new president of the subscribers of Principia II. Mr. Lombardi all along active in the Assembly of Subscribers on behalf of Foundations and Territorial Banks in Southern Italy has played a pivotal and linking role between private institutional investors and the public fund High Tech Sud, conceived by DIT (now Agengy for Digital Italy) and which supported, in the past few years, the birth of Principia II fund as well as the other two VC-Funds dedicated to Southern Italy, namevy Vertis Venture (manager by Vertis SGR) and Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno (managed by IMI Fondi Chiusi SGR

On the other side, Innogest SGR has announced the addition of two partners to its team in order to provide the best support for the new portfolio of investments: Claudio Romano (Former CFO at Finn-Power Group) and Stefano Molino (former investment manager at Innogest SGR) joined the team. In addition, Andrea Venturelli (founder and former CEO of Invatec, a medtech company sold to Medtronic and von recently VP R&D at Medtronic  ) based in New York and François  Pogadolla (former CEO of Advanced Digital Broadcast Group) based in Geneva, Switzerland, have joined Innogest SGR as Venture Partners of the new fund. Andrea Venturelli brings with him many years working in the medical device arena and this wil be beneficial for the fund in scouting investment opportunities in the life science space.

At a time where italy is suffering a difficult economic crisis there is now the need to look beyond the crisis and invest in its historical assets: which are entrepreneurship and attitude of innovation. Since Italy prospers with dynamic entrepreneurs and fascinating technologies and business models while missing the necessary capital to back them, the launch of this funds surely represent a first step in the development of the italian nascent startup ecosystem. All in all, despite the crisis, Italy has to invest on its most innovative and promising startups and their leading-edge technologies in order to compete on the international market.

On Innogest SGR:
Innogest SGR is an Italian VC-fims with headquarter in Turin an offices in Milan and New York investing in highly innovative and fast growing companies. Since 2007, when it launched its first fund Innogest I , Innogest team has invested in 20 companies and attracted over 100 Mln Euro of investment in portfolio companies. Among the main investors of the new fund there are Compagnia San Paolo, Fondazione CR Lucca, Fondazione CR Asti, Fondazione Cariplo, Intesa SanPaolo, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Banca Sella Holding, Tecnoholding, and several other private investors alongside with Fondo Nazionale dell'Innovazione, a fund sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Development. All the investors see significant investment opportunities in supporting the dynamic and growing Italian start-up arena. 

Innogest SGR 's investment team has buit a solid experience in backing dynamic and innovative entrepreneurs and to transform Italian companies into global leaders, such as Singular ID (leader in counterfeiting solutions) SILICON BIOSYSTEMS (worldwide leading technology for detection and manipulation of rare cells such as circulating tumor cells), IGEA (European leader for cancer treatment through its innovative electrochemotherapy technology adopted in more that 100 hospitals across Europe), BEEINTO (mobile gamification and loyalty platform with several hundred million reachable users worldwide), NOODLS (platform for PR distribution and aggregation that has the largest coverage worldwide), SAVELLI  (luxury smartphones for women), STEREOMOOD (mood-based music broadcaster), and ERYDEL (drugs for rare diseases and diagnostic solutions delivered through autologous red blood cells).

On Principia SGR:

Principia SGR is a leading actor in the italian venture capital arena. It manages two closed-end funds, "Principia Fund" and "Principia Fund II", with focus on innovative technologies. The fund is one of the beneficiaries of the resources of the Fund High Tech Sud promoted by DigItalia former DIT (Department for Innovation and Technologies). The competences developed in the sector of business innovation and "digital space" as well as the buit relations with the research institutions, universities, business and finance world, are the elements which combined together origins the formula of investment of the Principia funds. The shareholding structure of the Principia is composed by professionals of the venture capital world and two important institutional partners, CNR - the National Research Council - and the Foundation BNCOverall, the fund has invested 53 Mln Euro in 30 different operations of seed and expansion capital in southern Italy.