Monday, February 24, 2014

Hyperfair raises $1.2M seed funding from NEA, Atlante Ventures and Como Venture

Milan, February 21 - Atlante Ventures fund managed by Imi Fondi Chiusi SGR, a company of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, New Enterprises Associates (NEA) and Como Venture bet on the future of Hyperfair, investing $1.2 million. The joint investment in Hyperfair, led by NEA has been perfected in the form of convertible loan. The presence of a fund such as NEA in this transaction assumes a great importance in the panorama of Italian start-ups and is also a great example of collaboration between Italian and US Venture Capital funds.

Founded in 2010 Hyperfairis a San Francisco based startup company that was born in Lecco (Italy) on initiative of Massimiliano Campanari and Marco Bonfantiand that is reinventing the way virtual trade shows are showcased online. The company offers a feature that allows you to see a 3D environment, where exhibitors and attendees can meet and do business through their avatars, as if they were physically on site. 

The Hyperfair platform is enjoying increasing success among fairs' organizers, thanks to its ability to create virtual events with a captivating immersive 3D experience on the web, navigable via the browser. It is ideal to internationalize companies, meets the needs of both exhibitors, which can dramatically reduce costs making business with buyers from all over the world, and the organizers, who are thus able to offer a wider range of value-added services, completing the traditional events and creating virtual events, or even hybrids.

With this funding, the company will improve its product and provide its users with a great of social business experience.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Starsup, the first Italian equity crowdfunding platform

StarsUp is the first platform in Italy for the equity crowdfunding authorized by Consob the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission. From now on Italian startups have, therefore, an alternative possibility of financing. Let's see how it works.

The legal framework:
As the ministerial decree "Decreto Sviluppo 2.0" (Development 2.0) approved in late 2012 by the Monti government, paved the way for the crowdfunding in Italy, the three founders of StarsUp have pricked their antennas. Last June 2013, Italy was the first country in the world to adopt the equity crowdfunding Regulation on the subject, drafted by Consob the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission. Only a few weeks after three founders (accountants) Matteo Piras, Carlo Piras and Alessandro Scutti that have always been interested in crowdfunding have thought that such an activity could actually open a little' space in Italy and did not hesitate to file their application for the appropriate register, accepted in October 2013.

But let's make some order since we are talking about a sector in which Italy, for once, has been shown to arrive before many others countries, like the U.S. and Germany for example. In practice, with the adoption of the Regulation for equity crowdfunding, Italian startups are now facing an alternative way to finance. How?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Telecom Italia launches new € 4.5 million Corporate Venture Capital investment program to 'seed' the most promising Italian digital start-ups over the next three years

Rome, 20th February 2014 - Telecom Italia debuts in the ''seed'' investment space by announcing the launch of its new Corporate Venture Capital investment program with an endowment of € 4.5 million over the three years (2014-16, € 1.5 million annually starting this year) in the share capital or options of the most innovative startups in the digital, Internet, mobile and green ICT space, in keeping with its business strategy.
With this tool, Telecom Italia will be able to invest in options or directly enter in the share capital of start-ups, by acquiring minority stakes, with investment tickets of entities between 100,000 and 500,000 euros.

These so-called "seed" investments are intented to fund the launch of appropriately selected young technology companies, helping them grow and gain a foothold on the domestic and international markets.

'With this major new initiative, Telecom Italia is continuing to make the most of young digital talent and completing its Open Innovation strategy with the birth of its own Corporate Venture Capital instrument - says Marco Patuano , CEO of Telecom Italia. Having launched five years ago, first in Italy, the program in support of start-ups with the Working Capital project, Telecom Italia is strengthening its concrete commitment to build a digital ecosystem capable of stimulating - even at a time of economic downturn - the best and most innovative business ideas.''

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

RestOpolis raises angel funding

Andrea Casalini, Mauro Del Rio, respectively CEO and Founder of Buongiorno; Euan Lonmon, already CEO of the italian subsidiary of Corsica Sardinia Ferries and  Giuseppe Maurizio, already CEO of Greci Industria Alimentare are the new shareholders of RestOpolis, Italy's leading service for online booking of restaurants. 

Their expertise in the digital (Casalini and Del Rio), tourism (Lonmon) and catering (Maurizio) spaces, will make an important contribution to value creation and growth of the young company which since its foundation in February 2011 has already achieved impressive results. Indeed RestOpolis has a widespread distribution throughout Italy with more than 800 affiliate restaurants, as well as more than 35,000 service users and reaches a user base of more than 1 million people through its partnership network. The company partners with companies such as Touring Club, Ticket Restaurant, the Restaurants Union of the Good Memories, the app City1Tap TIM Social, MilanoCard,,, Viaggi24, Secretary and

"RestOpolis is an example of how technology can innovate traditional sectors such as that of food service: going to the restaurant by booking on RestOpolis is both more convenient and less expensive," said Mauro Del Rio. "The company has excellent growth potential and may consolidate its market position."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Eurogroup acquires Piemontech

Turin, 12th February 2014 - Eurogroup S.c.a.r.l., a Turin-based technology consulting has acquired 100% of the shares of Piemonte High Technology Srl (Piemontech), an investment company that has as its object the acquisition of holdings in the share capital of innovative start-ups. This transaction allows Eurogroup to complete range of financial services designed to enterprise development. Indeed, the proposed activities start from interventions in favor of start-ups, facilitating the birth and capitalization, follow the life of the company with different consulting lines, accompany them with proper financial planning and with the necessary guarantees for wider access to credit, until you get to the more structured reality, to a mor efficient use of renewable energy, from an environmental and economic point of view. To affirm the importance of belonging to a network of companies working alongside SMEs and make it more recognizable on the market, the Shareholders' Meeting of Piemontech has approve to rebrand the company name in Euroventures Srl.

Piemontech was born in 2004 with the objective to provide a real opportunity of growth to new startups with innovative ideas and projects. It was the first venture capital operator in Piedmont and one of the first in Italy and, in 10 years of activities, it was able to spread an entrepreneurial culture above all among young people.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Elco Group Acquires Dutch PCB Ramaer

Elco Group, an Italian company in the sector of high technology printed circuit boards, owned by the Italian Investment Fund (Fii), announced an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the Dutch competitor PCB Ramaer, with headquarter in Helmond (Eindhoven), which will allow the Elco Group to consolidate its position in the European. From ELCO PCB as union of the two companies, which will continue to operate with their own brands, will arise the one of the largest European operators in the sector, with around €45 million turnover, 450 employees in five countries (Italy, France, Spain, Holland and China) and beyond 500 customers, including Siemens and Finmeccanica. 

Based in Carsoli (Abruzzo), the Elco Group was founded in 1970 and has turnover of €25/30 million, employs 350 people in Europe and China, and is one of the top 15 European companies of high technology printed circuit boards produced in small series (multilayer, HDI and Flex-Rigid), while China and the Far East compete on the low/medium technology with the larger series. 
Ramaer, was born in 1961, has 100 employees and a turnover of approximately €20 million, has acquired a strong position in Northern Europe through fully automated production facilities producing with a cutting-edge of technology

The Italian Investment Fund (Fii), chaired by Innocent Cipolletta and led by its CEO Gabriele Cappellini, has invested in Elco in late 2011 by acquiring minority in the company for €5 million.

Atlante Seed and Withfounders invest in Plannify

Plannify, the easiest and funniest tool to discover events in Italy and abroad, not only got an equity from the venture incubator Digital Magics and Uvet Group, but has receives further funds from Atlante Seed (Intesa Sanpaolo Group) and Withfounders (Italian investment company that has supported important business initiatives and successful startups such as Buongiorno, SaldiPrivati, Jobrapido and Glamoo) and other investors of the Digital Magics Angel NetworkDigital Magics and other investors committed to subscribe a capital increase with a trance of €725,000, of which 508,250 have already been subscribed.

Massimo Fregnani, entrepreneur since over 35 years in the production and organization of events such as Notre Dame de Paris, Cirque du Soleil, Italian Sensation, enters into the shareholding of the company and assumes the role of President of Plannify. With his experience, Fregnani will support the company in the process of international expansion, contributing to the emergence of new global partnerships. The Plannify team will also increase with the entry of developers, graphic designers, content editor and accounts to develop its sales network.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

United Ventures holds second closing at €50M

United Ventures, the investment company specialized in digital technologies born from the union of Annapurna Ventures, of Massimiliano Magrini and JV Capital of Paolo Gesess, to "shake up digital entrepreneurship by spotting and promoting disruptive innovations" has raised €20M from the European Investment Fund (EIF), which is the most important institutional investor of european venture capital. With this second closing the overall raised funds of United Ventures amounts to €50MThe operation (which took place before Christmas but was announced only now), was made ​​under the Framework Programme for Competitiveness and Innovation of the European Commission CIP. EIF joins other investors in United Ventures, including the Italian Investment Fund, who committed €10M in the first closing while the remaining  €20M have been committed by Fondazione Banco di Sardegna, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, Banca Sella Holding and Banca Patrimoni Sella & C. "The European Fund historically has invested very little in Italy and it is the first time that it does so in a corporate vehicle," said Massimiliano Magrini, co-founder of United Ventures, which has a portfolio with four companies (, Halldis, LOVEThESIGN and MoneyFarm).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

PrivateGriffe raises €1,2M from VAM Investments and a Club of Private Investors

Milan, January 31, 2014 - PrivateGriffe the Milan-based leading Italian online fashion market active in the online sale of luxury clothing, footware and accessories via exclusive private sales, both on-line and off-line, has closed a capital increase of €1,2M subscribed by VAM Investments along with a group of private investors.  The fund VAM Investments has invested €700k while a group of private investors selected Banca Esperia - the private bank of Mediobanca and Mediolanum advisor of the whole operation - injected €500k in the Milan-based online e-commerce fasion website.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Suba Seeds acquires Condor Seed Production

There are not too many Italian companies that makes acquistions abroad, but there are those who do not fail to make acquisitions in an ultracompetitive market as the American one. One of these is Suba Seeds, the  Italy-based (Longiano) European leader in the production of seeds for vegetables, which bought for $6.5 million the 52% of the American Condor Seed Production, a company with headquarter in Yuma (Arizona), a producer and wholesale distributor of vegetable and herb seeds active in the same industry and specializes in the type "baby leaf". 

Suba Seeds is not new to these shots. The company, founded 40 years ago by Augusto Suzzi, has a history of mergers and acquisitions that resembles, by number of deals done, the paths of the best-known multinationals. The Italian company, which since 2011 is a true holding company, has bought several companies (including Sipas Packaging and Royal Seeds) and has created others to internationalize ( including Suba&Unico, the result of a merger, and Suba France) or to deal with other sectors (Food Suba).