Friday, November 29, 2013

Turning the Italian Digital Music Ecosystem on: Sounday raises €2m and acquires Kiver Digital

Turin, 28th November 2013 - The market of digital music enriched by a new excellent 100% Made in Italy. positions itself in Italy as digital music ecosystem at support of the growth of the music business through innovative and consulting services. Strengthened by the acquisition (from 2music) of Kiver Digital - specialized in the distribution of digital contents - last Septermber thanks to the investment of €2 million made by Principia, Sounday has launched Sounday Music - digital platform - dedicated to artists and professionals of the sector: the service provides an offer of services and solutions accessible via Web and Mobile, based on a customizable technology, allowing artists, professional operators and music labels to manage the entire music lifecycle, from networking, to the creation and distribution, from the sale and purchase of music goods and services of mixing and mastering up to the management of the identity on the web.

"The music world is nowadays undergoing a phase of deep transformation, with technology being its core. Just think that, according to data released by IFPI, in 2012 fee-based music downloads from web and mobile stores increased by 12% and the number of registered users to subscription services even by +44%. To these numbers, one has to add social networks: music is the preferred topic in conversation among friends on social networks in the 67% of cases and 7 out of 10 most followed celebrities on Twitter and, even 9 out of 10 among those followed on Facebook are music artists". commented Giuseppe Ravello, founder and CEO of Sounday and of Kiver Digital:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Crowdcube partners with Xandas to launch operations in Italy

Crowdcube, the Exeter, UK-based equity crowdfunding platform, announced its plans to launch its latest international operation in Italy, thanks to the strategic partnership agreement signed with Xandas, a Milan-based company  specialized in launching and operating highly innovative digital ventures.


The announcement follows recent agreements to open in New Zealand and Spain and operations will be Launched in all three countries in early 2014. Crowdcube has now signed partnership agreements in seven different countries (the others are Brazil, Sweden, Dubai and Poland) with the expansion funded with £ 1.5m growth capital raised via their Own equity crowdfunding website.

Led by Fabio Pezzotti, CEO, Xandas focuses on seed and early stage businesses and investment with a management team having a combined 30 years of experience in launching startups, fundraising and exits, international development and management. They have invested in Pointistic and Chupamobile, among others. Commenting on the announcement,
Pezzotti said: «We are delighted to partner with Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. Italy, which became the first country in Europe to implement equity crowdfunding laws early this year, has tremendous potential. Our knowledge of the local startup and investor eco-system and Italian financial regulations combined with Crowdcube’s state-of-the-art technology and know-how means we can rapidly launch and make a real impact in Italy, akin to what Crowdcube has achieved in the UK».

Led by Darren Westlake, CEO, and Luke Lang, Crowdcube enables everyday investors to fund businesses in return for a share in the company. Since February 2011, more than 50,000 investors have registered with Crowdcube, helping to raise more than £16m for over 80 UK businesses.They expect further agreements to be signed in 2014 and is already seeking potential partners in France, Germany, Canada and the USA.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Atlante Seed and Digital Magics join forces to shape the Italian Startup Ecosystem

 Milan, November 21, 2013 - Atlante Seed, VC fund managed by IMI Fondi Chiusi SGR dedicated the Seed and Early stage capital, and Digital Magics, the certified venture incubator of innovative startups listed on AIM Italy, a segment of the Italian Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana), have signed a framework agreement for the joint development of investment activities in digital startups. The partnership aims to increase the ability of investment for startups selected and incubated by Digital Magics, ensuring adequate financial resources for their development.

Atlante Seed enters the Angel Network of Digital Magics and will be entitled to participate in the seed rounds entering the capital of startups with high growth potential, co-investing in companies proposed by the venture incubator.

This operation is part of the indirect investment plan of Atlante Seed, which in July 2013 entered the share capital of Digital Magics within the listing of the company shares on the AIM Italia.
The Angel Network of Digital Magics plays an active role in the selection and strategy consulting of new ideas and business models: it assesses startups, submits new projects to the incubator - thus creating the birth of the dynamics of corporate venture capital - and offers its expertise and industrial financial resources to promote the growth of startups.

Consilium toward the first closing of its new fund

Consilium SGR, is approaching the closing of its latests fund currently in fund raising, which will be held at €80 million. Consilium SGR operates since 2006 with its closed-end fund Consilium Private Equity Fund (CPEF), with an endowment of €150million, which has a duration of 10 years and an investment period of 6 years. Of the so far realized 8 investments, four are still in its portfolio, while four have been divested. Among these we find Consilium share in Rollon sold to Chequers Capital (20% of the capital) and IGI SGR S.p.A. (70%), while the residual 10% remained in the hands of the management, led by CEO Eraldo Bianchessi, who reinvested. The company, with Headquarter in Vimercate (Milan), is a leading Italian manufacturer of linear rails and actuators. The Group has subsidiaries in France, Germany and USA. In 2010, Ardian (previously Axa Private Equity), the premium independent private investment company and Consilium acquired the majority of Rollon to support its domestic and international growth strategy. According to BeBeez, the transaction occurred on the base of a company valuation, debt included, at roughly €100 million, i.e. 6 times the expected EBITDA for the end of 2013, which is slightly increasing with respect to the €16,2 million in 2012, in the face of a turnover of €53.9 million, the 80% being realized abroad. The acquisition has been financed for the half with equity and for the other half with debt financed by Unicredit

Monday, November 18, 2013

Farman raises €400k in a first seed round from Digital Investments

Digital Investments SCA SICAR, a Luxembourg-based VC investment fund who advisor is dPixel, a venture capital advisor and management consulting firm specialized in the digital seed and early stage space founded by Gianluca Dettori and Franco Gonella,  invested €400,000 by subscribed a capital increase in Farman a Milan and Trani-based (italian) e-commerce startup specialized in the Health & Beauty sector: a transaction that will allow the company to go on with its growth plans since the receives funds will be used to best implement the company business plan with the target to become a reference player in the Health & Beauty space by reinforcing the management team with the entry of Loris Lanzellotti, Investment Manager at dPixel.


Massimiliano Masi, CEO and co-founder of Farman, says that "the entry of Digital Investments witnesses that road taken is the right one, but mostly offers us significant growth prospects for the years to come. We have several initiatives underway and the support of this new investor will enable us to pursue our objectives by increasing investment in technology, communications and logistics." After a strong growth in 2012 ( +112 % increase in turnover with a customer base of about 8,000 clients) 2013 has already confirmed the positive trend of the company. "We believe - continues Lanzellotti - that online sales in the Health & Beauty is segment with a high growth potential."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

IPO Made Easy: the Italian Stock Exchange launchs the project PiùBorsa

Borsa Italiana, the Italian Stock Exchange, has launched a new web page dedicated to the promotion of the initiatives of the project PiùBorsa.

The project "PiùBorsa" (more Stock Exchange) was promoted as system action with the participation of the leading players of the italian financial industry: Consob, Abi, Aifi, Assirevi, Assogestioni, Assosim, the Italian Stock Exchange, Confindustria, the Italian Investment Fund and Italian Strategic Fund by entering into a Memorandum of Understandings containing commitments and measures to promote a common policy for the development of a national securities market. The project may be a useful point of reference for all interested companies.

The memorandum is the first result of the working group called "Admission to the listing of SMEs: stimulation measures, the role of markets and operators", formed on March 7, 2012, upon proposal of different market participants and under the coordination of Consob. The aim is to draw up proposals on the one hand, to assist SMEs in a path of openness to the venture capital market and, secondly, to increase the interest of institutional investors toward this category of companies. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

56 CUBE and DIGITAL MAGICS launch BUZZOOLE

 Salerno, 12th November 201356 CUBE, venture incubator born within the certified Milan-based venture incubator Digital Magics listed on the AIM segment of the Italian Stock Exchange, in order to scout cutting-edge innovations from Southern Italy, launches and backs financially with a €180,000 seed investment Buzzoole, the startup which wants to disrupt online users' presence by optimizing and identifying, in a qualitative manner, influencers in a specific field. To accelerate its development, apart the financial backing, 56 CUBE will be providing Buzzoole also with technical, mentorship and marketing services with the support of Digital Magics.

Buzzoole - the italian answer to the US giant of the online marketing Klout - is the first Italian IEO (influence engine optimization) and social media advertising platform, based on an algorithm and an innovative technology that allows companies rethink their concept of influence, by qualitatively identifying influencers of their niche market and to generate word of mouth on their products and services (the so-called buzz marketing), rewarding influencers with dedicated offers such as discounts, product testing, exclusive invitations. Thanks to the technology of Buzzoole, companies can independently plan online marketing campaigns with free and flexible budgets, to identify influencers by level, geographical area, topic and keyword. In comparison to its competitor Klout, which delivers only a quantitative analyzing, by telling how many people a user can reach with his messages, but is unable in revealing which influence his message can have, the algorithm developed by Buzzoole not only identifies the amount of reached people, but also the sectors in which they influence: sport, culture, media and so on. Fabrizio Perrone, founder of Buzzoole,  is very young and bright entrepreneur (29) who finished his studies in record times and started to work in strategy consulting and after a year founded Fan Media is first agency focused on campaigns of social media advertising, which gave him the clue to fill the gap, i.e. provide a qualitative tool allowing the identification of influencers on social media as well as a service of buzz and digital allowing SMEs to experiment the effects of word of mouth, which is the ace in the hole of Buzzoole

How does  Buzzoole work:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wise raises €1 million in equity financing

 WISE (Wiringless Implantable Stretchable Electronics), a Milan- and Berlin-based medical device company is developing next-generation implantable neurostimulation devices based on their unique and proprietary technology platform. The company has now raised a seed-round of €1 million to advance the development of its first product aimed at the spinal cord stimulation market. High-Tech Gründerfonds, Atlante Seeds and b-to-v Partners co-led the round and were joined by the existing investor Agite!

"We feel honored by the trust Placed in WISE by the investors who recognize how our technology can change the neurostimulation market. Certain we are, did our product features genuinely disruptive properties and wants overcome the limitations of currently available products", comments WISE s CEO and co-founder Dr. Luca Ravagnan. "Completing this financing round gives us the resources at hand to finalize our prototype and fully engage into pre-clinical development".

"We have strongly believed in this project and in the scientific team since the company foundation," adds Agite!'s President Dr. Mario Zanone Poma. "We Consider the participation in this investment round by three of the major seed funds in Europe as a fundamental step forward in the development of WISE towards commercial success".

The electrodes and extensions presently used in neurostimulation come with two major limitations: breakage and dislocation, both caused by the stiffness of the material currently being used and requiring surgical replacement of the electrodes. WISE's competitive advantage is built on a proprietary technology, developed at the University of Milan, that allows the insertion of electronic microcircuits in biocompatible silicones. Based on this technology, WISE is able to generate highly elastic electrodes of supreme reliability which resist stretching and twisting without the risk of dislocation or electrical failure.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quercus Assets Selection Acquires a 14MW Photovoltaic Project in Cornwall

The transaction, implemented through the Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, marks the official entry to the UK photovoltaic market for Quercus.

Quercus Renewable Energy Fund II, a segment of Quercus Assets Selection, a company which specializes in the infrastructure investments with a focus on renewable energies, has completed the acquisition of a 14 MW photovoltaic project in Corwal, which is expected to be connected to the national grid by the end of March 2014. After the successful biomass investment with the UK Green Investment Bank in the anaerobic digestion plant in London concluded recently, Quercus begins its official entry into the competitive UK photovoltaic market, in which the company expects to be highly competitive for at least in the next 18 months, the period defined for the incentive structure. Quercus is currently carrying out due diligence for a photovoltaic projects pipeline totalling around 150 MW in the United Kingdom, which constitutes the first part of an overall portfolio estimating growth to 300 MW by the end of March 2015.

Despite a climate that differs from Southern Europe, the United Kingdom offers interesting investment opportunities, supported first and foremost by a stable and highly efficient market and a particularly low country risk. This allows an easy understanding of the exceptionally simplified regulatory system and a predictable evolution of the incentive structure, essential ingredients for optimizing investment planning. All of this is accompanied, among other things, by relatively low banking rates, a good incentive structure for the investor and highly competitive procurement costs for goods and services, also due to the adjustment of supply to sector dynamics. 

As Diego Biasi, Managing Director of Quercus said