Sunday, June 2, 2013

Vertis Venture II: a new venture capital fund for italian startups

Vertis Sgr has recently announced the raising of a new venture capital fund - Vertis Venture II - with a target of €60 million as well as the launch of an incubator for innovative startups. The announcement was made by Amedeo Giurazza (CEO of Vertis) during the two-days meeting (on 17th and 18th May) organized by the firm to discuss on venture capital in Southern Italy. Not only, Giurazza did also announce the launch of an incubator for innovative startups within IPE, the Naples' management school directed by Antonio Ricciardi, as well as the strategic alliance with Il Denaro, a regional economic magazine. The IPE management school will train future innovators while Il Denaro will take care of the communication. The new fund, "Vertis Venture II", will invest in the whole peninsula, in contrast with the first fund (of 25 million euros), which has been raised also using the resources put at disposal by the italian government for an ad-hoc vehicle conceived for Southern Italy. Vertis Venture II will also invest in seed operations, namely investments between EUR 50k and 300k.

The company is preparing now the new fund regulation which will be submitted to the bank of Italy. A fund in which will probably also invest
the Italian Investment Fund, as anticipated by its CEO Gabriele Cappellini, who took part at the Vertis convention. Indeed, as of end of 2011 the Italian Investment Fund, invested €15 million in an ad-hoc created vehicle, Vertis Capital Parallel,  which co-invests with the fund of Vertis dedicated to private equity. The latter, has recently invested €9 million. in Arav Fashion Group, the brand grouping together the brands Silvian Heach, Silvian Heach Kids and Aston Martin. The new fund will invest by reaching €20 million of funds raising, i.e. the first closing of the fund. According of to the CEO of Vertis, Amedeo Giurazza, the firm will be able to invest the raised money starting in October 2013 at earliest.

On Vertis SGR:  
Vertis SGR is an investment management company (IMCO) which manages three closed-end funds focused on acquiring holdings in SMEs located in Southern Italy and Lazio region. The assets of the three funds totals €80 million.

The funds 'VERTIS CAPITAL' and 'VERTIS CAPITAL PARALLEL', with total assets of approximately €56 million, make private equity transactions, by investing primarily in companies with an annual turnover  between EUR 10 and 100 million, characterized by a good current or potential profitability and an credible and ambitious development plan. The funds take on equity, generally minority stakes, investing between EUR 2 and  9 million, through expansion and buy-out transactions, and in specific cases, partial replacement operations. 
The fund 'VERTIS VENTURE' with an endowment of €25 million, makes venture capital investments, by addressing primarily startup companies or firms stemming from university and industrial spin-offs which highlighting a business plan capable to generate and likely to achieve value. Each investment ranges between EUR 0.3 and 2.5 million, and is aimed at the development or introduction of new product innovations or of a process with digital technologies. The fund has completed its investment cycle, with 18 financed startups for a total of €40.5 million invested.

Based on the above Vertis SGR can, therefore, accompany companies in all stages of their lives both in the initial (start-up) as well as in the growth and maturity phases (expasion and buy-out). Vertis SGR is characterized by independence, location and know-how. Independence, in what its capital is represented by persons which are not related to any banking groups; location in what it is the only asset management company located in Southern Italy. The geographical proximity to target companies facilitates the contact with local entrepreneurs; know-how in what it uses its considerable wealth of knowledge, experience an relationships built by its members in the last 15 years. Vertis SGR has agreements with 15 research centers and 7 universities from Southern Italy and has appointed as advisor (for patent and technology aspects) Fondamenta SGR, an investment firm which manages TT Venture, the Vertis fund for technology transfer. Vertis has already realized 18 investments in just over 3 years.

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